Sean Whelan of Maritime Survey Australia and Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) in Mt Martha was awarded the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.
Mr. Whelan, who is also a past recipient of the National Medal, received only the third ESM medal awarded this year. He has been a VMR member at Mornington for more than 20 years and has been involved in more than 600 marine rescues, many in challenging conditions.
As training officer, he is said to have introduced innovative and interesting ways of presenting training sessions to members, as well as serving on the VMR executive committee.
VMR’s Tim Warner said the safety of his crew and the people in distress have always been paramount to Mr Whelan. “There are many people who owe their lives to Sean’s contribution to Volunteer Marine Rescue in Victoria.”
Mr. Whelan said “I am so very humbled by all of this, thank you and to all for the kind words. I feel I have grown up at VMR, joining at 22, to now at 43. “I have been blessed to have worked alongside some truly great people. People who have been mentors to me, not only in the skills of marine rescue, but also in life.
“I know none of us at VMR do it for medals and I must say I feel a little awkward receiving this, so I attribute this recognition to the whole team that is VMR Mornington / Hastings. Well done to you all.”
Mr Whelan is the seventh VMR member to receive the ESM.