by Ken McManus
Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) Board Director Peter Phillipson ESM has been awarded a NSW Maritime Medal in recognition of his long service to the boating community.
Maritime Medal for Marine Rescue NSW Director Peter Phillipson
NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay presented Mr Phillipson – who has a 22-year history in volunteer marine rescue - with the Medal during a ceremony at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia yesterday afternoon.
Mr Phillipson, who said he had long advocated the formation of a single volunteer marine rescue service, was the Officer Commanding of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (RVCP) when its members voted to join the new MRNSW, established in July 2009.
The new organisation brought together members of the RVCP, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association and the marine fleet of the Volunteer Rescue Association.
'Although this award is given to me, it is really recognition of my equally committed colleagues during this time. They shared a resolute, passionate belief in what we set out to achieve and gave generously of their time and personal resources to make it succeed,' Mr Phillipson said.
He acknowledged the invaluable support of both NSW Maritime and the NSW Police Force Marine Area Command.
'Marine Rescue NSW is forging ahead. Under the leadership of our professional management team, headed by Commissioner Stacey Tannos, we have more than 3,000 volunteers and demonstrate every week our vital role of saving lives on the water,' he said.
Mr Phillipson first joined Coastal Patrol Port Stephens in 1989 and remains an active member of Marine Rescue Port Stephens.
He was appointed to the nine-member Facilitation Committee that led the establishment of MRNSW and was elected as Hunter/Central Coast Region Director on the first elected Board of Marine Rescue NSW in December 2010. He was re-elected in December 2011.
As the chair of the new service’s Fleet Strategic Integration Team, Mr Phillipson oversaw the introduction of the vessel replacement program for an ageing fleet of more than 70 craft.
This program, generously supported by the NSW Government and boating community through NSW Maritime, is ensuring the organisation’s volunteers can take to the water on up-to-date, safe rescue vessels to help recreational boaters in need of assistance. A $680,000 offshore rescue vessel was delivered to the Marine Rescue Middle Harbour Unit, based at the Spit, this week.