Marine Rescue Port Macquarie volunteers have collected one of Australia's most prestigious honours at this year's 43rd Australian Search and Rescue Awards.
The National Search and Rescue Council and South Australian Police hosted the awards in Adelaide on Tuesday, September 10.
The awards recognise outstanding contributions to search and rescue in Australia.
Marine Rescue volunteers collected the Professional Commendation Award for their efforts rescuing three seriously injured men off the cruiser, Aussie Joy, on April 14.
The 10 metre motor cruiser struck rocks resulting in the men suffering broken bones, severe lacerations, punctured lungs, broken eye sockets, a broken jaw and a broken back.
Regional manager Randall Gawne coordinated the rescue with NSW Water Police and engaged the volunteer crew to join the effort alongside the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Marine Rescue radio operators Garry White and Graham Gibbs, under the supervision of unit commander Greg Davies, used their local knowledge to locate the damaged vessel.
Volunteer skipper Reg McGlashan, Yolanda Bosschieter, Tony Hallett, Chris Condon and Bill Richardson sailed to the cruiser. Mr Condon and Mr Richardson boarded the vessel and kept the injured men afloat as the boat sank.
The team provided medical treatment and brought the patients back to awaiting emergency services in Port Macquarie after the six hour operation.
NATSAR chair Mark Morrow said the actions of recipients are inspiring and worthy of national recognition.
"Their willingness to respond and the ability to maintain a calm and measured approach when confronted by danger is a testament to the character of these recipients," he said.
"When someone is faced with a choice to take action or not, we see what people are made of. Their bravery, professionalism and dedication are truly inspirational.
"These recipients have an enormous capacity to hold focus in spite of the risks."
Port Macquarie volunteers honoured are Garry White, Graham Gibbs, Reg McGlashan, Yolanda Bosschieter, Tony Hallett, Chris Condon, Bill Richardson, Rob Breskal, Owen Coulls, Randall Gawne and Greg Davies.
Commendations for Courage and Commissioner's Citiation have already been awarded to the crew and unit by Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos.
The crew is also in the running as one of two finalists for an International Maritime Rescue Federation award in London on September 11.
Unit commander Greg Davies said the rescue was the result of the entire unit's commitment to readiness and courage of heart.
Every member of the unit is prepared and trained for emergency situations including in first aid and advanced aid courses. Members respond with the highest professional standard, said Mr Davies.
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