Skipper stands out for selfless service

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph

Marine Rescue Rockingham commander Graham Martin has been given the Outstanding Individual Contribution award for marine rescue at this year’s WA Fire and Emergency Services awards.

Mr Martin was nominated for his work as “a sustained and selfless volunteer” with Marine Rescue Rockingham, spending “countless hours” getting involved in a range of roles and activities.

Some of his achievements include organising upgrades to the group’s base, joint training with the local surf lifesaving group, planting a memorial rose garden to commemorate past members and procuring a new 12m boat. Mr Martin also volunteers as a skipper for Marine Rescue Rockingham every Thursday and a radio operator on Saturday mornings.

“I have been with Marine Rescue Rockingham nine years; prior to that, I was with Marine Rescue Botany Bay in NSW for 13 years. In total, I have been volunteering in Marine Rescue for over 22 years,” Mr Martin said.

“I am privileged to lead a very committed team that provides the community with a safety net on the water. A significant initiative we took in the last year was installing a filtered hot and refrigerated water dispenser at HQ, so we eliminated single-use plastic bottles. We also installed a 70-litre water tank on our new vessel Orion, so we have filtered water onboard the vessel.”

Mr Martin said he had received a phone call from the DFES deputy commissioner, who told him he was a finalist.

“I only found out that I had won when I was on stage with the other finalists when it was announced at the WA Fire and Emergency Services Conference,” he said. “I really love helping people and the camaraderie. I like being busy and achieving results. It’s very rewarding when we have complete a mission and rescued people that had broken down out on the ocean and had no means of getting home. Unfortunately, what we do is out on the water and away from public eyes and we get very little acknowledgement of the number of people we rescue each year and the dangers we face.”

Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan offered his congratulations to all of the award recipients for their outstanding commitment to keeping their communities safe.

“These people went above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating exceptional professionalism, leadership and dedication in their roles as emergency services personnel,” he said.

“Volunteer and career personnel have an integral role working together as first responders, saving lives and building safer communities.”

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