Cockburn Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue honours member’s 35 years service


Mike Graham. Picture: Will Russell
Mike Graham. Picture: Will Russell

AFTER 35 years of service to the Cockburn Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue group, no one would hold a grudge against Mike Graham if he wanted to call time.

But the 79-year-old says he will only give it up when he stops enjoying it.

It was back in 1980 when the Spearwood resident ventured down to the coast seeking information about radios.

As a keen boater himself, he was quickly reeled in.

Mr Graham has held numerous positions at the volunteer group during his stay, including 20 years as commander.

Over the stretch he has seen changes to the coast, massive developments in technology and of course his fair share of rough spells at sea, ensuring those needing help get back safely to their families.

He was recently awarded a long service medal in recognition of his service by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

“I’m not a glory hunter but it is still nice to be recognised,” he said.

“The big achievements are when you bring someone home safely.

“The look on a relative’s face when their loved ones are brought home; you realise how many people miss them.

“The satisfaction that comes with that makes it all worth it.”

Cockburn Sea Rescue commander Brad Nicholas said the hours Mr Graham spent providing radio coverage, following up administrative tasks and undertaking rescues “would be impossible to calculate”.

“Mike has been a wonderful leader for our group, a mentor to other volunteers and a lifesaver to those he has rescued,” he said.

“We also acknowledge his wife Beatrice who has supported him following his sea rescue volunteering passion.”

The Cockburn Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue Group is made up of 22 volunteers and helps in more than 200 police authorised rescues every year.