Darran Saunders and Erin Emmerton join marine rescue | video

The recruits: Marine Rescue Port Macquarie training officer Ali Cameron-Brown congratulating Darran Saunders on successfully completing his crew assessment as fellow recruit Erin Emmerton looks on.
The recruits: Marine Rescue Port Macquarie training officer Ali Cameron-Brown congratulating Darran Saunders on successfully completing his crew assessment as fellow recruit Erin Emmerton looks on.

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Learning new skills and gaining hands-on training, being on the water, participating in the community and looking at career options.

For Darran Saunders and Erin Emmerton Marine Rescue Port Macquarie ticked all those boxes and more.

The pair are the latest recruits to pass their crew member assessments and will now join the patrol roster.

Darran, who arrived in Australia in June, said he was excited and pleased to have passed his assessment.

“The training really did help me out (in the assessment) and that’s why I was successful,” he said.

“As a crew member, I will join the roster for call outs where I’ll be able to assist vessels in distress and be part of the crew.

“The training included completing a survival at sea course, first aid certificate, learning firefighting skills and gaining my boat licence.

“The assessment itself was pretty gruelling but there was plenty of positive feedback.”

Darran attended training sessions each Tuesday and Sunday after joining marine rescue just prior to Christmas.

Another successful candidate was 21-year-old university student Erin Emmerton who qualified two months ago.

After moving to Port Macquarie from Albury to study at Charles Sturt University, Erin decided to expand her skills set and make new friends.

At the end of the day, our job is to save lives and that’s what we do

Marine Rescue Port Macquarie's Erin Emmerton

“I have a swim teacher and lifeguard background so marine rescue was a pretty good fit for me,” she said.

“Joining marine rescue was also good because I wanted to maintain my skills but also learn some new things as part of my uni course.

“I plan to join the police force where I would like to move into the water police area.”

The marine rescue course was a good stepping stone into a job opportunity, she said.

“The whole course was really valuable,” she added.

Darran and Erin are now part of the crew roster and say they look forward to putting their new-found skills into practice in real life situations.

“At the end of the day, our job is to save lives and that’s what we do,” Erin added.

Training officer Ali Cameron-Brown said the pair had acquitted themselves well and would now become part of the Marine Rescue Port Macquarie team.

For more information on Marine Rescue Port Macquarie go to their website or call 6584 1966.