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Shining gift for Coast Guard

A $2000 donation to the Portland Coast Guard has come “out of the blue” from a local auto club.Portland Bay Classic Vehicles president Craig Dennert and vice-president Phillip Newton handed oved the cheque to flotilla commander Shirley Stanford and deputy commander Flint de Frenne last Thursday (March 7).“We only learnt about it this week, all our emails ran hot when we were told the news,” Ms Stanford said.“This is one of the biggest donations we have received. It’s fabulous.“We’re raising funds to buy a training vessel, so this donation will go towards that. The vessel will cost $50-$60,000 so more donations are definitely most welcome!”The auto club raised the money at its ninth annual Show’n’Shine on the Portland foreshore on February 17.“It was a really good day, with a Mad Max theme,” Mr Dennert said. “This is the first time we’ve donated to the Coast Guard, last year we gave to the Air Ambulance.”Portland Coast Guard, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in February, also welcomes new volunteers to join its current ranks of 27 members. “Our membership did fall during the pandemic,” Ms Stanford said. “We weren’t able to train during the lockdowns and people drifted away.”Coast Guard volunteers learn a wide range of skills. “Volunteers can be boat crew up to the level of coxswain, shore-based radio operators, do administrative work, or all of the above,” Ms Stanford said.“There is a lot of training, including navigation, boat-handling skills, ropes and knots.“We are all first aiders to the level of advanced resuscitation and airway management. This is trained inhouse, as is the marine radio operators certificate.“We take the boat every Saturday morning for our regular training day and sometimes midweek or an evening for some night training.“The training vessel we are fundraising for will be smaller than our search and rescue boat, and trailerable. It will give our members many different skills and mean we can instruct more people on training days.“But we have a long way to go. People can help by picking Coast Guard Portland as their selected charity at the bottle and can refund centre. Or donations can be organised by phoning 5523 6111 where one of our members can help you to help us. All donations stay with the Portland flotilla.”

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