Seven NSW police officers attached to the Marine Area Command, who rescued two sailors from a yacht in distress off Sydney’s coast earlier this year, have been recognised with a national award, NSW Police say.
The 2017 Australian Search and Rescue Award was presented by Australian Maritime Safety Authority Chief Executive Officer and National Search and Rescue Council Chair, Mr Mick Kinley, at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra yesterday.
The nomination for the award came following a multi-agency response initiated after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), was monitoring a yacht with a broken rudder about 210 nautical miles north east of Sydney.
On Tuesday 7 March 2017, the two sailors on board the 40-foot yacht, an Irish and French National, activated their EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) device.
Shortly afterwards, the NSW Police Force Nemesis vessel was launched with seven crew members aboard.
Despite six-metre swells and gale-force winds, the Nemesis reached the yacht about 8.30am the following day (8 March 2017), and the man and woman were rescued.
NSW Marine Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings, said the officers involved should feel proud to receive such a prestigious award.
“Police train and prepare for these situations and given the unpredictable nature of the ocean, our officers showed great courage during this rescue,” Det Supt Hutchings said.
“As NSW Police Marine Area Commander, it’s humbling to know these officers, like all those that work in the command, would not hesitate to risk their own safety to protect the lives of others.”