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News & Media
- Students commended for quick boating rescue response
- April 13, 2012
Two 16-year-old students have been commended for their quick action in helping save two men in a disabled five-metre runabout from imminent danger at South Cronulla on Good Friday.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos congratulated Connor Rancan, from South Caringbah, and Ross Hickman, from Cronulla, for their response to the two men in trouble aboard the small vessel.
Commissioner Tannos said the two De La Salle College students would be presented with MRNSW Certificates of Appreciation for their efforts.
“Connor and Ross had just left Port Hacking in their small tinnie on Friday morning when they spotted an orange distress flare and rushed to the aid of the vessel in distress,” he said.
“Seeing the disabled runabout being pushed dangerously close to breaking waves and a rocky headland, they passed a light line to the vessel and held it from being driven closer to danger.
“Their prompt action clearly prevented the vessel from crashing onto rocks and the risk of serious injury to the two men on board.
"Had they not acted so quickly and decisively, the situation could have deteriorated quite rapidly and more than likely would have resulted in personal injury and damage to property.
“Connor and Ross deserve our congratulations and thanks for their unhesitating response to this emergency, displaying the finest qualities of seamanship and a shared commitment to Marine Rescue NSW’s core charter – saving lives on the water.”
MR Port Hacking Unit Commander Noel Parkinson said the students’ actions had helped keep the vessel out of peril while the crew of rescue vessel, Port Hacking 20, reached the scene and attached a towline to move the runabout to safety.
“About 11.55am, PH 20 was conducting a routine patrol among about 30 moored vessels at Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking, when the occupant of a yacht alerted the crew to an orange smoke flare ignited in the vicinity of Oak Park,” he said.
“We arrived on scene in approximately five minutes to find the red five-metre aluminium runabout dangerously close to breaking waves.
“Fortunately for the two on board, they were being assisted by the smaller vessel, which was attempting to tow them out of harm’s way.
“Neither vessel was making a great deal of headway in the prevailing conditions of a north-east swell and chop, coupled with a north-east wind of about 15 knots.
“Port Hacking 20 positioned itself just off the port bow and relieved the much smaller vessel by taking over the tow and moving the runabout further out to sea, away from the dangerous surf conditions.”
The two men on board told the PH 20 crew they had been fishing when the runabout’s outboard motor had repeatedly failed to start. Although an anchor was lowered, it failed to take hold, allowing the boat to continue drifting.
The pair ignited a flare in an unsuccessful bid to summon help from another nearby vessel, attempted to make a MAYDAY call and, with lifejackets ready, were considering abandoning ship when Connor and Ross arrived to help.
“The actions of these two young lads at the time is well worthy of high praise,” UC Parkinson said.
Half an hour after PH 20 arrived, the vessel and its two occupants were safely put alongside the landing pontoon at Dolans Bay Boat Ramp.
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- May 08, 2013