Search and rescue awards to recognise extraordinary Australians

Tuesday 16 October 2012
Fishermen, sailors and surf lifesavers are among those to be recognised for their contributions to search and rescue at the Australian Search and Rescue Awards in Melbourne tomorrow evening (17 October).
Media Release

The annual awards recognise outstanding service to the Australian community by a person or group providing search and rescue services.

The award is selected by members of the National Search and Rescue Council after consideration of nominations from around the country.

The National Award winner will have made a significant contribution to Australia's search and rescue ability, or to saving human life.

Nominees this year include:

  • the crew from Melbourne for their rescue of six survivors from the yacht Inception, which sank in very rough seas during the 2012 Melbourne to Port Fairy race in April 2012
  • the master and crew of the Singapore-flagged tug Go Canopus for their efforts in the search and rescue operation for the survivors of the yacht Shady Lady, which sank 290 nautical miles north of Darwin in August 2011
  • Surf Lifesaving Illawarra for their efforts on 6 April 2012 in saving the lives of four fishermen at the Verge, north of Wollongong, NSW
  • the master and crew of the Norfolk Island fishing vessel Advance for their rescue of the crew and passengers of a Pel-Air aircraft that ditched near Norfolk Island in 2009
  • the master and crew of the fishing vessel Gran Lady, also from Norfolk Island, for assisting in the rescue of the crew and passengers of the same Pel-Air aircraft.

Chair of the Council and General Manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Emergency Response Division, John Young, said the awards recognise contributions by fellow Australians to search and rescue, rather than those who make a living in the field.

“Australia has cooperative search and rescue arrangements in which the Commonwealth, states and territories, as well as volunteers, all have important roles to play,” he said.

“However, private, non-professional responders are sometimes the ones that just happen to be there at the right time and place, and they do can extraordinary things to rescue others in distress.

“Each of these nominees has shown enormous bravery and self-sacrifice to save someone in peril. The SAR awards are our way of saying thank you.”

The presentation will be held at Pelican’s Landing, Williamstown, at 7pm on Wednesday 17 October.