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News & Media

  • Marine Rescue open to all this weekend
  • April 18, 2017

FIRING flares, rescuing stricken vessels and crashing through waves all might sound like fun, but it's all in a day's work for volunteers with Marine Rescue.

For the first time the Iluka/Yamba Marine Rescue unit will be hosting an open day at Yamba Marina this Saturday, and organiser Bruce Bodsworth hopes to give everyone a taste of what it's like to be a volunteer with Marine Rescue NSW.

"All the skills that we've learned in the Marine Rescue will be on display, so we will have flares and firefighting demonstrations, a man overboard simulation and a full search and rescue demonstration as well," he said.

"We will also have vessels in the water so people can watch us towing them in and towing them out. It will be a fun day, and hopefully it will go well. Our vessel will be up against the dock right up the front, so people will be able to go down the ramp and walk up and take a look at the vessel and get an explanation of what we do and go inside our beautiful $250,000 vessel which is one of the best in the ocean on the east coast of NSW."

After almost a decade in the Marine Rescue, Mr Bodsworth said it was a rewarding and exhilarating thrill being involved in a rescue.

"When my skipper rings up and says there's three metre swell and we're soaked across the bar but we've got to go and get a vessel, then I say I'm coming," he said.

"Nine out of ten of our assists out on the water are towing a vessel that is damaged or broken down back in, and it's very satisfying to be able to go out there and bring these people that have gotten into a bit of trouble back to safety.

"The adrenalin from being on the back of the vessel when we go out is great."

Mr Bodsworth said he hoped the open day would give people a chance to find out more about the service.

"Some people think that it's too much for them, that we're professionals, but the reality is anybody can be trained to any of our positions, and that they can also be qualified and certified the same as we are," he said.

"Those certifications follow on to civilian life and really help there as well. Being in the Marine Rescue teaches people skills that would put people forward on to a maritime job, whether it be a deckhand or on a ferry, as a fisher or moving into nautical navigation, but the best part is the satisfaction of being in an adrenaline pumping service that's volunteer."

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