LOCAL girl Hannah Bamford, 23, made a visit to her home town last week, in her new role as a Marine Tactical Officer for the Australian Border Force.
The appropriately named Cape Class Nelson pulled into Nelson Bay on its way to the Sydney Boat Show, having started in Cairns a week before.
The Australian Border Force has eight of this type of boat and they patrol the entire coast of Australia in sections.
Their scope is wide and includes tackling illegal fishing, the import or export of prohibited items, unauthorised maritime arrivals, biosecurity and any piracy, terrorism or violence at sea.
Their powers allow them to board and search any vessel, using their smaller yet vital ‘Interceptor’ launch boats.
They were checking boats in Nelson Bay to ensure compliance with maritime laws.
The powerful boat is 58m long and has a crew of 18, who are on board for 28 days in a row.
Hannah has been in her role since last December, having undergone extensive training.
Prior to that she was working as an earthmover.
Mum of four, Prue Bamford was bursting with pride, seeing her daughter in her uniform and doing the job she had aspired to for a long time.
She was waiting at 7am for the ship to come through the twin heads of Tomaree and Yacaaba.
Prue told News Of The Area, “I’m so proud of Hannah and that she is part of such a great organisation that look after their staff so well. I’m grateful to the Border Force for looking after us and Australian waters.”
By Sarah STOKES