Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit commander Ken Rutledge hands over to Neville Adams

Changeover: Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit commander Ken Rutledge with incoming leader Neville Adams.
Changeover: Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit commander Ken Rutledge with incoming leader Neville Adams.

Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit commander Ken Rutledge is stepping down from the role after six years in the captain's seat.

Neville Adams will take up the position of unit commander after he initially joined the base in December 2014.

Mr Rutledge became a member of the Marine Rescue Camden Haven unit in 2007. He's worn many hats for the organisation including as radio operator, watch officer and coxswain.

The Marine Rescue constitution states the unit commander position can be held for a maximum period of three terms or six years.

During his time as unit commander, Mr Rutledge has worked hard to educate the community on water safety and to advocate for additional volunteers.

Unfortunately, Mr Rutledge said despite the constant messages around the need for boaters to log on, there are still some skippers who don't follow the rules.

"We would like more of them to remember to log on with us on the VHF 16 or the Marine Rescue phone app," he said.

"If they do have the misfortune of running into a problem it makes it a lot easier to find them at sea."

Mr Rutledge has witnessed some tragic incidents during his time as unit commander.

In 2017 Mr Rutledge and four other members were called to assist when a vessel carrying three men overturned on the Camden Haven River, North Haven.

Tragically a 59-year-old man died in the boating incident.

Mr Rutledge has been integral to ensuring members can effectively use the latest technology available to help keep the community safe on the water.

In 2019 the unit welcomed state government funding of $70,000 to upgrade the marine radio base communications.

The unit also recently received a $9000 grant from the Kendall Community Op Shop to go towards the purchase of a four wheel drive. The vehicle will help tow and launch their small rescue vessel CH10.

Mr Adams is looking forward to being unit commander and has been described as a people person by Mr Rutledge.

"He will make a good leader for the unit going forward," Mr Rutledge said.

Mr Adams is making it his mission to undertake several major tasks to improve the unit.

This includes a major upgrade to the base to ensure it can host large equipment. The development is in the planning stage and will require the application of funding through grants.

Mr Rutledge will take on the property and public relations role for the unit.

Members are appealing for more volunteers to come onboard at the unit.

For more information or to volunteer people can call the unit on 6559 7356.

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