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Legal and Governance Support for Charities and Not for Profits – Sed Crest

Immigration law specialist, Sed Crest, is an active crew member volunteer with Volunteer Marine Rescue Southport in his spare time. With a background in maritime law, Sed is an eager boating enthusiast and loves to be out on water in the Gold Coast Broadwater.

Southport VMR squadron is the largest in Queensland with four rescue vessels. There are six crews that rotate different weekend shifts. Sed is part of Blue Crew, which is a team of about 12 mariners, a mix of ranks including skippers, crew and new recruits. Sed has achieved the rank of Senior Crew after 8 years of voluntary service.

Sed’s 25 hour shift comes round every third Saturday night from 5.45pm to 6.30pm on Sunday. Sometimes a rescue comes in by phone or radio at 5.30pm, which usually means a boat will need to go out and return 8pm or later on Sunday evening.

The crew sleep in bunkrooms on the base at the base beside Sea World Resort on The Spit in Southport and take turns catering, which means cooking dinner, breakfast and lunch for 12 or more people! There are about 10 different call-out jobs on a shift on average, but sometimes many more in summer. It is never dull. Every crew is different. You never know when, where or what will happen. A rescue can be at 2am and involve a collision, a medical evacuation, a fire on board a vessel, working with the Water Police for search and rescue operations or the regular breakdowns and running out of fuel.

The squadron’s largest boat, Marine Rescue 1, is used to quickly transport ambulance or firefighting personnel or additional police to the scene. Sometimes an emergency will require helicopter assistance and sometimes means search and rescue operations for a missing vessel or person overboard far offshore in the ocean or hunting down a flare sighting called in from one of the waterfront high rise buildings.

A crew rescue may involve towing a vessel from the beautiful beaches of South Stradbroke Island to up one of the many network of winding canals, fronted each side with waterside mansions. The Broadwater’s shifting sandbanks and varying tides also mean some vessels are beached or run aground (hitting a sand bank) or drag their anchor in high winds. Being active crew also involves fundraising at events like the recent Sanctuary Cove Boat Show.

Being an active crew member also means Sed has a 12 hour radio shift about every 8 weeks, which means sleeping at the base and keeping an ear out all night for any ships in distress (hopefully not a May Day call). The shift involves taking radio calls and phone calls from VMR members and the public that have broken down or have some other emergency or request. The training is comprehensive and means crew and radio operators know how to deal with a range of emergencies, problems and queries.

Sed’s contribution to his community has also involved volunteering his time with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service in Brisbane as well as My Community Legal, which was previously named the Robina Community Legal Centre.

Related Tag: Gold Coast Immigration Lawyer

Author: Sed Crest

Director: Sed Crest

Date: 27 May 2021