Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Keeping a Close Eye on Bar; Coastguard Norm Notches Up 120 Rescues on Infamous Crossing

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Keeping a Close Eye on Bar; Coastguard Norm Notches Up 120 Rescues on Infamous Crossing

Article excerpt

Byline: Ava Benny-Morrison Reporter

THE Ballina Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) has the job of overseeing one of the most notorious bars in NSW.

The temperamental mouth of the Richmond River is renowned for its unpredictability and has claimed many boats and unfortunately some lives.

But perched above the bar is the coastguard tower, locally referred to as the leaning tower of Ballina.

The Ballina VMR is a 24-hour service and the selfless people who staff the coastguard tower a in an attempt to prevent lives lost a do it willingly without any monetary gain.

The flotilla commander, Norm Lannoy joined the Ballina VMR in 1999 after he moved up from Sydney for a sea change.

aIt was something to do to give something back to the community and the rescue up here was a priority as this is a bad bar,a he said.

More than 120 rescues on and Mr Lannoy enjoys his role with the VMR as much as ever.

He is thankful he has not encountered any deaths during his long run with the group but holds some vivid rescue memories. …

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