Just over 10 months after being named on the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, Marine Rescue Bermagui Unit Commander, Caron Parfitt ESM, will be at Government House in Canberra this morning (April 21) to receive the Emergency Services Medal from Governor-General David Hurley AC DSC.
Ms Parfitt was recognised last June for her decade of service to Marine Rescue and the local community but was unable to attend the September ceremony because of a long standing travel commitment.
As one of Marine Rescue’s first female Coxswains, Ms Parfitt has recorded hundreds of hours of sea time and is a skilled and respected rescue vessel master who makes herself available around the clock to respond to emergencies on the water.
She has conducted numerous rescue missions, often in dark and dangerous conditions, returning those in trouble safely to their family and friends.
During the 2019-20 bushfire emergency on the South Coast, Ms Parfitt helped the local Surf Club during the water evacuation process, before finally being evacuated herself.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner, Alex Barrell, will attend Ms Parfitt’s Investiture Ceremony.
“Caron’s been an outstanding member of Marine Rescue for just on a decade now and to have a female leader of her calibre amongst our ranks is a real asset for Marine Rescue,” Mr Barrell said.
Ms Parfitt said Marine Rescue was a great fit for her when she moved to Bermagui in 2013.
“I’m a keen sailor and wanted to volunteer for an organisation where I could make a difference with like-minded people.
“I feel so humbled and honoured to receive this award and very privileged to be part of the Marine Rescue Bermagui team.
“I’m just one of a team of volunteers who all do amazing work to help save lives on the water,” she said.
With the ANZAC Day weekend upon us, the Bermagui Unit Commander is urging boaters to remember safety first.
“My message to boaters is simple.
“Safety first and always Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue.
“I encourage all boaters to check their boat and weather before heading out and when in doubt, stay home,” Ms Parfitt said.
Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.
Images: Marine Rescue NSW