Port Macquarie volunteer Ian Pascoe says he wouldn't miss a single day on duty as Marine Rescue Port Macquarie watch officer, despite an aversion to water.
The 73-year-old former construction industry human resources officer, joined Marine Rescue in 2016, after hearing about the group from a neighbour.
"I'm not a boatie or sailor, I like 'terra firma' and that's why I chose this," said Mr Pascoe.
"Initially when I retired I thought I'd like to give back to the community.
"I checked Marine Rescue out and talked to a few people before deciding it was a good thing to do.
"My role is to run the radio shift and make sure the guys can do the job.
"I also mentor new radio operators and assist with supporting them if there's a call out."
During the 24 hour, seven day a week service there are two or three operators who work in four hour shifts.
"I enjoy working here for sure, because it can be a quiet day or as busy as any job," he said.
"Usually I do between eight to 16 hours a week including some night shifts."
As a member of the radio operations team in Port Macquarie, Mr Pascoe said the job sings between quiet times checking in local boaties to life and death mayday distress calls.
"Typically it means checking that everything functions correctly, checking in boats as they go out and acknowledging vessels that may be passing," said Mr Pascoe.
"In an emergency we contact the vessel to make sure we know where they are, ask what the problem is, what type of boat it is and call out the on-call crew using a paging system.
"If it was a mayday or very urgent call everyone would be called, which could be 40-odd people.
"We don't get many of those and they are pretty stressful, those first 15 minutes are very important."
Not even the prospect of a 6pm to 6am night shift can dull his spirits.
"It's very quiet usually and at most we will be contacted by a transit vessel who may want to check in to get their heading and next destination," said Mr Pascoe.
"We can watch a bit of television during the first part of the evening, sit in the chair and relax.
"This place is the link to the rescue vessel and when we hear an urgent call come through we know it's time for action."
Sitting in the radio tower high over Town Beach, Mr Pascoe said he wouldn't have it any other way.
"It's perfect working here, it's a really great office on the beach and a very pleasant view."
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