FORTY-five years of combined volunteer service has been honoured with four Port Macquarie Marine Rescue members thanked for their dedicated and tireless service.
Leading the honour roll and receiving his National Service Medal is Marine Rescue stalwart, skipper and mentor Reg McGlashan.
Mr McGlashan has clocked up 20 years with the volunteer organisation and is a highly respected member of the Port Macquarie team.
Unit commander Greg Davies said Mr McGlashan has a wealth of knowledge to share with his boat crew members and is always ready to lend a hand with fundraising.
"He has done an outstanding job. He has been involved in hundreds of rescues and shares a wealth of knowledge with our trainees. He is just one of those tireless workers," Mr Davies said.
"Reg is a stalwart of the unit and is always working. He sets a great example to all other members of the unit."
Rob Curtis received his 15 year National Service medal. Rob spent 12 years with the Royal Australian Navy and his final three years as a Marine Rescue volunteer.
Bill Richardson and Chris Condon both received their five year service medals and along with Reg, are best known for being a part of the 11-person crew and its heroic efforts in a dangerous mayday rescue of the sinking vessel Aussie Joy off Port Macquarie in April 2019.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said the rescue was extraordinary.
"It's good that we get this type of recognition and it doesn't come very often," he said. "It was a remarkable rescue, it really was and by remarkable people. The International Maritime Rescue Federation has some 48 member countries that are a part of that group and we are competing against some very large organisations. To be short listed is a really good thing, to win it is extraordinary."
Mr Tannos praised the crews quick thinking and bravery in providing medical treatment and boarding the sinking vessel to save the injured men.
"We get 700 calls a year attending maydays for life threatening situations," he said. "On this occasion I think the three people on the boat are extremely fortunate we got there when we did. It's extremely difficult circumstances to decide to stay on the boat, let it sink and float the crew out to avoid added complications."
The team also collected a Professional Commendation Award for the same rescue at the 2019 Australian Search and Rescue Awards on the same night in Adelaide.
Commendations for Courage and Commissioner's Citation have also been awarded to the crew and unit .
"These volunteers deserve what they get," Mr Davies added.
"They work hard and for volunteers, put in more hours than any others I know.
"In our job, you can't afford not to be good at it. Sea conditions are not something you can just chance. You have to practice and enhance your skills and be confident.
"Our volunteers are the most professional bunch of people I've ever worked for. I'm in awe of these guys in Port Macquarie they are so passionate and dedicated."
May 18-24 is National Volunteer Week.
CEO of Volunteering Australia, Adrienne Picone says this extraordinarily challenging year has shone a spotlight on the power of the unpaid workforce in Australia.
"With such need, we are working hard to promote safe and effective volunteer working conditions and encourage Volunteer Involving Organisations to do the same.
"It is more important than ever that we thank and recognise volunteers this National Volunteer Week."