For Marine Rescue Port Macquarie 2019 was a busy year filled with daring rescues, accolades and lots of training exercises.

The unit grew from just over 100 volunteers to nearly 200 with people working around the clock at the boat shed, radio base and in the fundraising arm of the organisation.

Unit commander Greg Davies said it had been an unusual year for the dedicated team but one where they all came together.

“Overall we had about half the call outs we usually do in a 12 month period and that meant we had lots of training programs constantly running,” Mr Davies said.

“A number of boat crew and radio base members also attained higher qualifications and we had lots of new volunteers sign up.”

One of the unit’s most notable rescues included saving three fishermen from a sinking boat south of Crescent Head in April.

“That night the whole team came together for the incredibly dangerous rescue,” he said.

“A call out like this one goes to show our repetitious training works and that when we are called to an emergency our volunteers do their job without fault.

“The whole team received a number of awards for their extraordinary efforts and we are all proud that we could pull off a successful rescue given the circumstances.”

Mr Davies said the goal for the first half of the year is to get the radio base at Town Beach operational and to consolidate training.

“After the fire last year the radio base needs work done before the team can move back in which we hope will happen in the coming months.

“We are working with council to ensure the process is as quick as possible but for now the radio base is still operating at the boat shed.

“We are also consolidating a lot of our training and our new volunteers will begin their specialised training in the second part of the year.

“We are all really looking forward to continue helping in the community and we have lots of enthusiastic volunteers which is great.

“Our strong team is focused on maintaining the high quality of training and response we have become known for and look forward to an excellent 2020 saving lives on the water.”

Laura Telford Port Macquarie News