Our heartiest congratulations to all those good folk who make up the Far South Coast branch of NSW Surf Lifesaving.
For the second year running, they’ve come home bearing the prestigious title of NSW branch of the year.
But, as media liaison officer Andrew Edmunds pointed out, Surf Life Saving is not about awards - it’s about saving lives.
The Eurobodalla coast has had a shocking drowning record over the past 12 months but it would have been far worse without these brave souls.
Working with limited resources and over-stretched staff, they have done a mighty job to keep our beaches safe.
Mr Edmunds was also singled out for recognition as the state’s Volunteer of the Year and also won the award for Outstanding Media Service.
The work he does is phenomonal and the fact that he was passed over for Eurobodalla Young Citizen of the Year is still hard for many to fathom.
Andrew is branch callout duty officer, director of lifesaving, media liaison, publicity officer, and a member of the branch rescue callout team.
He completed almost 500 extra hours of service and contributed to four merit awards last season. During the peak Christmas period, he gave regular updates to local and national media outlets, promoting surf safety.
Mr Edmunds successfully lobbied the Eurobodalla Shire Council to install rip safety signs at Moruya’s treacherous North Head beach after several rescues and fatalities.
Still he is quick to downplay his role, saying he is just part of a team.
He says Surf Life Saving has provided him with some of the most fulfilling experiences of his life and describes it as “infectious”.
For the sake of us all, let’s hope many more people catch the bug this summer.