In its place, the organisation has taken temporary possession of a state-of-the-art new vessel.
Having reached its maximum rescue usage age, the old 9.3 metre fibreglass vessel will now be stripped of key equipment and sold, in line with government policy.
“[The] vessel has completed hundreds of rescues and has been a most welcome sight to those in distress,” the organisation said.
Also gone is Coastguard’s trademark yellow.
The new rescue boat, issued by the Victorian Office of Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR), is white with red markings.
Named Queenscliff 304, it is an 8.5 metre rigid hull inflatable, fitted with a foam collar to improve buoyancy and safety. It also features infrared camera and radar technology.
“The new MSAR vessel is an excellent piece of equipment and will perform well until our new primary vessel is available. Our crews are extremely happy with the handling and sea worthiness of Queenscliff 304,” said Queenscliff Flotilla commander Michael Donohue.
“As part of future plans we expect to have this vessel for six to nine months before we move up to a newer vessel of at least ten metres length,” he said.
With the re-opening of the Queenscliff boat ramp, the Coastguard is anticipating a busy Spring and Summer and has urged boat owners to ensure their craft is seaworthy.
“Do all of your end of winter checks; make sure your batteries are fully charged, throw out your two-stroke fuel - just get rid of that, if you haven’t used it for three months it’s no good - get your engines serviced, check your lines, check your flares, check all of your safety gear and make sure you know how to use your life jacket and you’re ready to go,” said Flotilla volunteer Ivan St Clair.