Marine volunteers awarded for life-saving dedication
Extraordinary acts of
courage along our extensive coastline were recognised at the Volunteer Marine
Rescue Service’s annual awards ceremony last night.
The 2017 Western Australian
Volunteer Marine Rescue Service (VMRS) Awards was an opportunity for groups from
across the State to honour fellow volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional
dedication to the service, and to the safety of Western Australians over the
Fire and Emergency Services
Commissioner Wayne Gregson congratulated the 2017 Award recipients.
“The calibre of the award
recipients is remarkable - they should be incredibly proud of their
achievements and the esteem reflected in receiving such an accolade,”
Commissioner Gregson said.
“Marine Rescue Service
volunteers play a vital role in keeping Western Australians out of harm’s way
while on the water, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to recognise
their exceptional contribution to our State’s safety.
“In just 12 months the
Volunteer Marine Rescue groups attended more than 1,600 incidents and dedicated
over 37,400 hours of their time to saving lives, developing skills, and
educating communities across the State.”
Geraldton Volunteer Search
and Rescue Group Vice-Commander and Training Officer Jamie Jones was presented
with the DFES Award for Youth Achievement for the dedication and support he has
shown his group, fellow volunteers and the greater marine community through
promotion of marine safety, training, and exceptional conduct during rescue
Christine Heu, Commander of
the Jurien Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue Group, took out the DFES Award for
Outstanding Individual Contribution for her tireless commitment to ensuring the
Group is well-resourced and equipped to provide exceptional marine rescue
services to the region.
The VMRWA Award for
Outstanding Group Operations was presented to Coral Bay Volunteer Sea Search
and Rescue for showing the utmost perseverance and unwavering dedication in a
five day search effort for missing fishermen in May last year.
The Cockburn Volunteer Sea
Rescue Group were awarded the Department of Transport Award for Excellence in
Marine Safety for their persistent promotion of marine safety initiatives to
the public, and their skill, teamwork and bravery in keeping boaters safe over the
past 12 months.
The Commander’s Award was
presented to long serving member of the Jurien Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue
Group, Ian Stiles, for his extensive service to his Group, the local community
and fellow volunteers.
Marine rescue volunteers
attend a range of incidents including search and rescue missions for lost
people and vessels at sea, assisting vessels in trouble to shore and recovering
grounded and submerged vessels.
If you are interested in
joining your local VMRS, contact DFES’s Volunteer Recruitment Line on 1800 628
The recipients of the 2017
VMRS Awards are:
DFES Award for Youth
Achievement or Contribution to Youth Development
Jamie Jones - Training Officer / Vice-Commander Geraldton Volunteer Search
Jamie joined Geraldton VSR in 2015 and hit the ground running, providing
assistance in the running of the group. Jamie has proven his commitment to all
facets of the Group’s operations, from skippering the rescue vessel, to raising
their profile through community activities and social media. As Training
Officer, Jamie has been instrumental in helping group members upgrade their
skills while supporting the Group to make a smooth transition to the new DFES
DFES Award for
Outstanding Individual Contribution
Christine Heu - Commander Jurien Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue
Chrissy’s dynamic drive has seen the Group’s response capabilities enhanced by
identifying and managing large scale training opportunities and important asset
upgrades. An active member of Jurien Bay VSR since 2005 and in her third year
as Commander, Chrissy has indisputable commitment to boosting marine safety in
the region. Chrissy is an energetic and inclusive leader, well-respected by the
Group and the wider community.
VMRWA Award for Outstanding
Coral Bay Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue
The Coral Bay VSSRG was awarded for going above and beyond in their efforts in
an extended multi-agency search. The Group used local knowledge and geographic
expertise to assist Police throughout the operation. Coral Bay showed
unwavering dedication to the community when they lead local search and rescue
units made up of volunteers, commercial operators, locals and tourists,
assisting in the coordination of up to 15 recreational vessels involved in the
Transport Award for Excellence in Marine Safety
Cockburn Sea Search and Rescue Group
The Cockburn SSRG was recognised for their efforts to promote marine safety to
the boating public operating in their local area. In the past 12 months the
group has proactively supported marine safety education campaigns and
initiatives, which have provided the public with valuable experience and
knowledge regarding the importance and safe operation of safety equipment.
Ian Stiles - Vice Commander Jurien Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue
Ian received recognition for his lifelong commitment to volunteering and his
dedicated 10 years at Jurien Bay VSR. Ian continues to use his knowledge and
experience to support fellow volunteers and to strengthen the service itself.
Recently, Ian went well beyond his duties to become an approved trainer and
assessor, allowing him to play an integral role in piloting the new DFES
volunteer training pathways.
For more information about
the VMRS Awards visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/awards
Monday onwards: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543
Note to the editor: Photos
of the award winners will be available on request.