Local volunteers recognised nationally

John Macfarlane and Ilpo Ripatti are congratulated by Councillor Jess Milne

John Macfarlane and Ilpo Ripatti are congratulated by Councillor Jess Milne

Tin Can Bay Coast Guard

This month, we want to tell you about some of our outstanding volunteers that give their precious time to help the boating community, in particular, those that have given outstanding service over a long period of time.

People join us from all different walks of life, and for many different reasons. Our recent election night also concentrated on some overdue recognition.

The meeting was chaired by Commander John Macfarlane, who offered himself for re-election, and was successful. John has already served the Coast Guard for 26 years, and has been awarded the Coast Guard National Medal, and life membership of our Tin Can Bay Flotilla.

He has achieved just about everything in his time with us, which is fortunately continuing.

Commander Macfarlane called out Ilpo Riparti at the meeting to receive the Coast Guard National Medal, and to acknowledge Ilpo’s ongoing service of 15 years with Tin Can Bay.

A few years ago, Ilpo had to step down from crew work, but has continued to be a stalwart in the radio room, providing his sage advice to mariners, many of whom are first time visitors to our area and crossing to Wide Bay Bar for the first time.

Sometimes doing multiple six-hour shifts each week, our radio operators are a vital safety link for people at sea.

The Commander also presented Ray Wilkinson with his 20-year service award. Ray has been involved with three flotillas with the organisation, having been commander at Keppel Sands, and also being at Yeppoon, before moving south and joining Tin Can Bay.

Coast Guard obviously gives people a sense of satisfaction in helping keep their communities safe. If you are looking for some meaningful way to help your community, please give us a call on 5482 4290 to arrange a meeting with our membership officer.

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