Coffs’ Marine Search & Rescue heroes awarded National Medal for service

Coffs Search & Rescue, long-service crew members Andrew Innes and Greg Taylor will receive the National Medal.

 

LONG-SERVICE Marine Rescue volunteers Greg Taylor and Andrew Innes, both skippers from the Coffs Search & Rescue (SAR) Base, are being awarded the National Medal in recognition of their service to others.

The National Medal recognises long and diligent service by members of voluntary organisations that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in times of emergency or natural disaster.

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Greg Taylor began as a volunteer in 2006.

He enrolled at TAFE and on passing the assessment to become a search and rescue coxswain, began skippering the boat.

He went on to pass his Commercial Licence and works his day job as captain of Pacific Explorer, Coffs Whale Watch Experience catamaran.

“It all started with Marine Rescue,” said Greg.

“I volunteer to help other people.

“Once you’ve been involved with the water you don’t go back – the camaraderie of the crew is special.

“In adverse conditions we stand together.

“Staying calm is all part of the training, you go into automatic mode, with risk assessment and safety procedures.”

Andrew Innes told News Of The Area, “When I first joined Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol now Marine Rescue NSW, in 2003, I think I was one of a very few people at that time with a coxswain license who wanted to volunteer time and local knowledge, while serving our community and country.

“I have learnt a lot myself over the years.

“For people wanting to join, it’s a good way to learn about the sea, and its many different conditions, which can be unpredictable, dangerous, and sometimes perfectly flat like a lake.

“Working as a team, there’s satisfaction when we rescue, and/or assist, people back to shore safely.”

Always on the hunt for helpers, Coffs SAR team say volunteers don’t have to go out on the rescue boat, there’s a variety of roles, including turning the sausages on the BBQ at a fundraiser and they always need radio operators.”

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan told News Of The Area, “It is reassuring to know that when you head out to sea from Coffs Harbour’s Marina that you have experienced members of the Coffs Marine Search and Rescue looking after your interests.

“Greg Taylor and Andrew Innes have more than 15 years service to their credit and are well deserved recipients of their respective National Medals.”

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

The Marine Rescue boat which goes out of Coffs Harbour marina.

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