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News & Media

  • Marine Rescue Ulladulla volunteers earn Premier’s Award honours
  • June 18, 2015

Two members of Marine Rescue Ulladulla have been presented with Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Program awards for more than 25 years’ service to the boating community.


Parliamentary Speaker and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock  joined MR Ulladulla volunteers to present the Premier’s awards to Raymond Dixon and John Kennedy on June 15.


Ulladulla Unit Commander Ken Lambert said it was great to see Ms Hancock present the two senior members with their certificates.


“Both John, who has 31 years’ service to the unit and Ray, with 28 years’ service, have made highly significant and selfless contributions to the unit,” he said.


“I believe most of our members have benefited from their experience and training.


“On behalf of the Members of Marine Rescue Ulladulla, a well-deserved congratulations and thank you for your many years of service and much appreciation for your continuing duties.”


Ray Dixon joined the then Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol in 1987.


“Early in my career, I joined the Sydney County Council, where I remained for 23 years,” he said.


“Part of my training as a rigger and scaffolder was the tying of knots, splicing and rope work. I had the pleasure of working as a scaffolder on the sails of the Sydney Opera House in the 1970s.


“I was able to continue to utilise rigging and rope skills when I became a member of RVCP and now Marine Rescue Ulladulla.


“Joining the Coastal Patrol in 1987 several months after the previous base was opened at Ulladulla, it was not long before I was involved in work on the rescue boats, Kylie and Bonnie Lisa.


“After training, I became a skipper and continued in that job for 10 years. I have also served as Boat Master. As Training Officer, I carried out seamanship courses and the training of men and later women, to become skippers, for at least 15 years.

“I have been a radio operator for 26 years and for the last four years, a watch officer. I continue to repair ropes and make up new ropes for mooring lines and working ropes for the current rescue vessels Warden II and Lewis Dunn.”

Ray recalled the tragic 1992 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, when rough seas forced many yachts to abandon the race off the coast of Ulladulla and 18 yachts were rescued in 24 hours with two crews working non-stop.

John Kennedy joined the RVCP about 31 years ago in Sydney.

“I completed radio, seamanship, rope work and other skills and was able to use these skills personally as I’ve always had boats,” he said.

John transferred to Ulladulla in the early 1980s, working up to Operations Officer.

“From there, I then worked as Skipper (Master Class) and trained fellow members Ron Williams, Doug Musker, George McFarlane, Ken Lambert, Bill Glover and others.

“Rescues ranged from the difficult – the San Guiseppe Star operation which continued for 17 hours in 11 metre seas and gale force winds - to the comical, with an item reported floating one mile off Sussex Inlet that turned out to be a fridge.

“We couldn’t lift it into the boat, so thought an axe hole would sink it, except it took our axe to the bottom with it! I’ve worked for 29 years and had 31 years with Coastal Patrol/Marine Rescue.

“I have enjoyed it and my fellow members immensely and would recommend it to anyone,” he said.

Report & photo: Lisa Hardwick


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