More than a quarter of rescue operations by Marine Rescue NSW crews across the state last financial year took place in the Hunter-Central Coast region, new figures show.
According to data released on Friday, 2242 people were brought "safely to shore" by Hunter-Central Coast teams in 2021/22, with 1147 rescues across the region. The number of rescues in the Hunter-Central Coast area represented 29 per cent of the 3905 conducted statewide.
There were 229 cases deemed to be life-threatening in the Hunter-Central Coast, of 1138 classified as potentially deadly at a NSW level.
The Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie team performed the most rescues in the region - 584 - followed by the crew at Port Stephens - 226.
One hundred and sixty-six rescues took place on the Central Coast, while there were 66 at Newcastle.
The agency said, between rescues and calls for other types of assistance, the 12-month period was the state's second-busiest on record.
Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the number of rescue calls was slightly down on the previous year, largely due to poor weather during the traditional summer boating period.
"Over the year our volunteers received an extraordinary 223,338 radio calls, nearly one every two minutes," he said.
"These included 73 mayday calls when lives were in imminent danger, and 47 Pan Pans, when boaters were in an urgent but not life-threatening situation, as well as 14 flare sightings.
"Fifty-seven per cent of calls were for flat batteries, running out of fuel or engine problems, providing boaters with an important reminder to keep their vessel properly serviced and to always carry enough fuel for the journey. In total, 65,433 boaters logged on to their local Marine Rescue base, helping to keep them, and their passengers, safer."
NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said the figures showed the outstanding efforts of the agency.
"One third of the rescues conducted in the last financial year were for life-threatening emergencies, sometimes in the worst of weather and sea conditions and at the dead of night," Ms Cooke said.
The Newcastle Herald reported in January that Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie was experiencing a spike in calls for help from vessels that had become stuck in the silted-up Swansea Channel.
Transport for NSW confirmed last month dredging of the channel would begin by the end of September. It came after the government announced last December work would take place in the new year.
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