Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie performed 532 assists in 2021 - an increase of about 10 per cent from the previous year, the squad's chief says.
The assists cover anything from helping a skipper who has a flat battery on their boat to rescuing people in physical danger.
During the year, the team attended 11 calls to a sinking or capsized vessel, 64 grounded boats and saved three people who were in the water.
They were called to 45 jobs where there was deemed to be a danger to someone's life.
Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie commander Malcolm Druce told the Newcastle Herald there were more people on and around the lake last year compared to recent years.
He said given that recreational boating and fishing were allowed under COVID-19 lockdown conditions, and people were tending not to spend disposable income on other pursuits like travel, the waterways were busier.
"They're certainly buying boats and getting out onto the water," Mr Druce said.
"The number of vessels we're seeing on the lake is increasing, which of course is increasing the probability for things to go wrong."
Escorts through the increasingly silted-up Swansea Channel created a lot of work for the squad.
The Newcastle Herald reported earlier this week that Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie guided 55 vessels through the popular thoroughfare in 2021, but that figure has already been eclipsed this year.
Mr Druce said his crew hoped to get the number of assist calls to decrease.
"We want people to be able to go out and come back safely without having to call us," he said.
"Obviously, that's our job - we're there to be called - but a perfect day for me is sitting at the base and not being called out because everyone's safe."
Education was the key, Mr Druce said.
Aside from the obvious - wear a life jacket and make sure your vessel is in proper working order - it was also a good idea to over-prepare, study the local conditions and touch base with the Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie base before a day on the water.
"Maybe put a warm jumper in the boat, take a bit of extra water, take a can of extra fuel," Mr Druce said.
"The more prepared you are, the less opportunity there is for something to go wrong."
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