TRIBUTES have flowed for long-serving Marine Rescue volunteer Wayne Walker, who passed away last week after a long illness.
Mr Walker was a founding member of Marine Rescue Jervis Bay, formerly the Jervis Bay Division of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, for 23 years and a previous division commander.
Under his command the Jervis Bay Division of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol grew rapidly, gaining additional vessels and volunteers with the expansion of its operational range.
Mr Walker’s tenure also saw the construction of the unit’s new two-storey radio base located at Voyager Park at Huskisson, for which he played a key role in obtaining the necessary government funding.
In March this year Marine Rescue Jervis Bay’s new $47,000 rapid-response rescue vessel was commission as Jervis Bay 20 Wayne Walker in his honour.
Marine Rescue Jervis Bay deputy unit commander Jurgen Kiaupan paid tribute to Mr Walker.
“Wayne lived and breathed marine rescue and with so much experience on the boats, as night watch keeper and divisional commander he was simply our go-to man,” he said.
“He was extremely well-known up and down the coast.
“Whenever we wanted answers to questions we went to Wayne.
“He played a pivotal role, along with Joanna Gash, in the service gaining the boat The Colin Woods and then later in establishing the new base at Voyager Park.”
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock praised his years of service.
“Wayne will be sorely missed by our marine rescue volunteers and regular users of our waterways,” Mrs Hancock said.
“I pay tribute to Wayne Walker’s service to our region and his family – for allowing him to spend so much time in the service to others.”
Mr Walker’s funeral was held at the Shoalhaven Memorial Gardens at Worrigee on Tuesday.