On the eve of a visit from the Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Alex Barrell, Eden’s volunteer radio operators were called upon to help a man suffering a serious medical episode at sea.
At around 7.30 pm on Wednesday (1 March), Marine Rescue Eden received a distress call from two sailors requiring assistance 50 kilometres due east of Green Cape after the skipper suffered a medical episode.
Eden Water Police were tasked and, with ambulance paramedics on board, brought the man, aged in his 70s, to the Eden wharf where he was treated before being taken to the South East Regional Hospital at Bega in the early hours of Thursday morning.
A Marine Rescue spokesperson said, at the time, the swell in the area was two to 2.5 metres and increasing, which hampered efforts to bring the men and the vessel to shore.
Eden radio operators liaised with the second person on the yacht, who was an inexperienced sailor, until the water police arrived to assist.
The incident wrapped up just hours before the deputy commissioner visited the Eden unit’s Snug Cove base on Imlay Street at 10.30 am on Thursday 2 March to open a new training centre.
The $119,000 Marine Rescue NSW Eden Training Centre was fitted out following a $45,000 grant from Bendigo Bank Pambula and Bega.
Deputy Commissioner Barrell was joined by Pambula and District Community Development Limited chair Tim Shepherd, Member for Bega Dr Michael Holland, Marine Rescue NSW Board director Glenn Felkin, Zone Commander South Mike Hammond and Eden unit members to officially open the new centre.
“I’m delighted to be here today to open this important project for Marine Rescue Eden and the Far South Coast boating community,” Deputy Commissioner Barrell said.
“The funding from Bendigo Bank has helped ensure our Marine Rescue Eden volunteers have the facilities they need to achieve their mission of saving lives on the water.”
Marine Rescue Eden Unit Commander Nancy Weatherman said the new centre would provide a major boost for volunteers.
“It provides members of Marine Rescue Eden with a dedicated all-weather location for training, crew readiness area and office space as well as opportunities to educate and engage with the boating community,” she said
“The new centre allows us to facilitate training for radio courses, navigation and systems for our volunteers.
“I’m grateful for the support of both Bendigo Bank and Marine Rescue NSW, and am confident this first-rate facility will also help encourage new members to join us in our mission of saving lives on the water.”
Mr Shepherd said Pambula and District Community Development Limited jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the training facility.
“When we became aware of the Eden unit’s desire to set up a training centre we wanted to get involved to assist with Marine Rescue’s life-saving work,” he said.
“The Pambula and District Community Development Limited through our Bendigo Bank Community Branches in Pambula and Bega are very proud to have been able to support the Marine Rescue Eden unit to establish their new training facility at Snug Cove.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Marine Rescue NSW in the future.”