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Marine Rescue Port Stephens - vale Barney Pinney


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Copied from Facebook page of Marine Rescue Port Stephens


Sunday February 7, 2021

Today was a memorable day for Marine Rescue Port Stephens .  We were honoured by being asked to assist with the scattering of the ashes of our former Coxswain, Watch Officer and Boat Manager, Barney Pinney.  Our very good friend passed away before Christmas.  He had a wish that his Ashes be scattered in the waters of Port Stephens from PS31 (John Thompson).

His wish was delivered Sunday afternoon  during a small private family ceremony.  

A very touching part of the salute to Barney was the sight of our members lined up on the breakwall as PS31 departed the marina.

Barney was a former RAN Air Wing Pilot and a keen sailor.  Another of his wishes was that 8 bells be sounded during the ceremony – 8 bells indicate the “end of the watch or shift” on a vessel.  To honour his wish the bell off our former rescue vessel PS40, Danial Thain, was brought out of retirement.  In 2015 the crew of Danial Thain were awarded the National Search and Rescue Award for the rescue of the crew of Reef Dragon. Barney was one of the 2 crew who launched the Y Boat and in treacherous conditions crossed to Reef Dragon and took the crew on board. 

Keeping with our tradition Tennyson’s poem “Crossing the Bar” was read.  In this poem Tennyson uses a metaphor of a sailor crossing the sandbar between the tidal area and the sea to represent a loved one passing from life

Back at the dock his numbered Cap was presented to his wife, Merril.

PS31 was accompanied by PS30, LT30 (from Lemon Tree Passage) and the Port Stephens Water Police.

A footnote on this post reflects the organisation which Barney contributed so much.  Minutes before the vessels were due to leave the berth a Mayday call was received from a vessel on the rocks on one of the islands outside the port limits.  With very fast crew changes PS30 followed the Water Police to the scene and successfully helped rescue those in trouble (we will tell this story in a separate post).  Barney would have been smiling seeing the Marine Rescue legacy continue to perform.  Both PS30 and WP45 joined the ceremony once the lifesaving work was completed.


Barney at the helm of his beloved PS31


Unit Commander (Ben) and Deputy Unit Commander ( Colin) salute our friend 


Marine Rescue members honouring Barney as the PS31 departs the marina


The ceremony as seen from radio base




8 bells being sounded


LT30 and PS30


Skipper Iain presents Barney's numbered cap to Merril


PS40’s bell taken out of retirement to deliver Barney’s wishes


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