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Marine Rescue NSW volunteers awarded Emergency Services Medal

Four Marine Rescue NSW volunteers with a combined 115 years of service dedicated to saving lives on the water have been recognised on the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List.

Experienced Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking Coxswain and Search and Rescue Support Officer Ian Baker has been honoured with the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) following almost 49 years of dedicated service.

Marine Rescue Middle Harbour’s Anthony Whybrow, Marine Rescue NSW Regional Director and former Forster Tuncurry Deputy Unit Commander Roman (Ray) Mazurek and Batemans Bay unit Life Member Colin Tritton have also been awarded the Emergency Services Medal.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said the service is privileged to have such highly regarded volunteers in the ranks.

“Their dedication and commitment to serving local boaters and those who enjoy our waterways is appreciated by Marine Rescue NSW and their respective communities.

“All four recipients are extremely experienced mariners holding either Coxswain or vessel Master ratings and share a wealth of knowledge with their fellow volunteers.

“Our volunteers sacrifice personal and family time to help boaters in distress at any time of day or night to help keep our waterways as safe as possible and I thank all of them for their commitment to service and saving lives on the water,” Commissioner Barrell said.

Mr Ian Leslie Baker – Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking

Mr Ian Baker joined the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) in 1975, which merged with other coast patrols to form Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) in 2010. He has been a dedicated volunteer with MRNSW for more than 48 years, one of the longest serving volunteers within the Service.

Marine Rescue Botany Port Hacking Ian Baker ESMHis role as an operational Search and Rescue Support Officer and Marine Rescue NSW Coxswain has seen Mr Baker participate in more than 400 rescues, many in difficult and life-threatening conditions.

He has also served in numerous unit roles within Marine Rescue NSW and earned the respect of everyone he has volunteered with; including members he has trained and mentored.

Prior to the MRNSW merger in 2009/10 Mr Baker’s efforts had been recognised by the former AVCGA bestowing on him a Life Membership. Mr Baker’s professionalism, dedication and extensive maritime safety expertise continue to inspire other volunteers to maintain and extend their skills and knowledge in maritime safety for the benefit of the wider community.

Mr Baker places the highest priority on the safety of his fellow crew members and the boating community, particularly when operating in dangerous conditions at night, in rough seas or unfavourable weather. He has led numerous challenging search and rescue operations in response to traumatic emergencies. Mr Baker continues his vessel and radio duties to this day.

Mr Roman Jerzy (Ray) Mazurek – Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry

Mr Roman (Ray) Mazurek has given meritorious service to the NSW community as a volunteer member of Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry for more than 20 years. His professionalism, commitment and skill have directly contributed to the safety of the boating public on the waterways of the state’s Mid North Coast.

Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry Ray Mazurek ESM

As the Division Commander of the former Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, Mr Mazurek was an integral part of the completion of the new Forster Tuncurry unit base, purchasing a new rescue vessel and managing the division as it grew to become an important part of emergency services in the Manning and Great Lakes area. After serving in the role of Unit Commander at Forster Tuncurry, Mr Mazurek transferred to Marine Rescue Crowdy Harrington in 2016 to help rebuild the unit and assist them in operating a new rescue vessel, which was delivered earlier that year.

His commitment to training and mentoring members, as well as bringing through the next generation of operators, turned a once fledgling unit into a fully operational part of Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW). Since Mr Mazurek’s transfer back to the Forster Tuncurry unit, he has taken oversight of both unit rescue vessels as the Operations Officer and senior vessel Master.

Drawing on his past military experience, he has led numerous challenging search and rescue operations. Mr Mazurek has been a Regional Director of Marine Rescue NSW since 2021 with a seat on the MRNSW Board of Directors. He continues to contribute positively to the organisation and to the boating public.

Mr Colin James Tritton – Marine Rescue Batemans Bay

Mr Colin Tritton has given meritorious service to the NSW community as a volunteer member of Marine Rescue Batemans Bay for almost 25 years, having joined the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (RVCP) in 1999. Prior to joining, Mr Tritton had a distinguished career with NSW Police including as a Police diver and then with the Water Police (now Marine Area Command). With the RVCP, he was responsible for establishing a training regime.

Marine Rescue Batemans Bay Colin Tritton ESM with Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips

Through his training, he was able to assist in producing a new wave of qualified coxswains in the Monaro region, which was much needed particularly around the time of the merger to form MRNSW. Mr Tritton was also a Technology and Further Education (TAFE) teacher who specialised in practical marine rescue specific courses and maritime studies; and used his experience as a teacher to contribute to MRNSW membership and training.

As a qualified Marine Rescue NSW Master, he has led numerous challenging search and rescue operations in response to traumatic emergencies over his years of service.

Mr Tritton has recorded hundreds of hours of sea time and until a recent illness, made himself available around the clock to respond to emergencies on the water, personally conducting numerous rescue missions, often in dark and dangerous conditions.

He was made a Life Member of Marine Rescue Batemans Bay in 2022 as acknowledgment of his significant contribution to the unit and region.

 Mr Anthony Mills Whybrow RFD – Marine Rescue Middle Harbour

Mr Anthony Whybrow is an active member of Marine Rescue Middle Harbour. He joined the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (RVCP), an antecedent of Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) in 2003. He was appointed as the Divisional Commander for Sydney of RVCP in 2009. Mr Whybrow became Unit Commander of the Middle Harbour unit under the MRNSW flag in 2010.

Marine Rescue Middle Harbour Anthony Whybrow ESM

During his command, Mr Whybrow also took on the role of Training Officer and assisted unit members with requalifying their rating in accordance with new qualification requirements. He remains in a training role today.

Apart from continuing to be operational as a Marine Rescue NSW vessel Master of the unit’s largest rescue vessel, Mr Whybrow is also the unit’s Training Systems Officer. Mr Whybrow has mentored many senior Marine Rescue NSW members not only within the Middle Harbour unit but also across the Greater Sydney region and beyond.

Mr Whybrow has spent hundreds of hour’s at sea conducting search and rescue efforts in company with other Marine Rescue NSW and Marine Area Command vessels, often in deteriorating conditions. During his extensive service with MRNSW, Mr Whybrow has demonstrated a distinguished and exemplary commitment to public service and to the Marine Rescue NSW mission of saving lives on the water.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.