Another great big thanks, and a farewell

The Eurobodalla Shire's emergency crews were out in force on Thursday evening and Friday morning last week, searching for a missing teenage girl.

The girl had become lost after a quad bike adventure and spent a scary lonely night in the bush behind Waldrons Swamp.

As ever, volunteers and paid rescuers rose to the occasion, including the Rural Fire Service, NSW Ambulance, Police, the State Emergency Service, and the Westpac Lifesaver 23 Rescue Helicopter.

The girl was located on Friday morning and her family has thanked rescuers.

Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma volunteer crews are always there when we need them - and we have to be there for them too. They will become even more vital - and even more stretched - as more extreme weather patterns emerge.

We are already coming into the busy tourist season and the pressure on our roads will only get worse. Narooma's VRA and the shire's SES, RFS, Fire and Rescue NSW, police and paramedics know too well the demands of rescuing people from accidents on our underfunded highway.

Lifesaver 23, based at Moruya, has a great record in saving lives up and down the Far South Coast and we offer our grateful farewell to outgoing CEO Stephen Leahy.

"The rescue helicopter was introduced nine years ago because of an ongoing spate of drownings and we saw a real need to provide a rapid-response search and rescue helicopter to the region," Mr Leahy told Australian Community Media.

"Lifesaver 23 remains a vital part of the emergency services network on the far south coast and there is no doubt it has saved many lives since its introduction.

"I've been humbled by the support the helicopter service has received and I particularly recognise our local member Andrew Constance who has always provided great support and guidance to me personally. We'd often jokingly call him the Minister for Lifesaver 23. I also have to recognise Inspector Greg Flood and his NSW Police colleagues as well as the NSW State Emergency Service and Surf Life Saving NSW; it has been great to work with such professional people.

Finally, it's important to recognise the team at the Bay Post, Moruya Examiner and Narooma News, who have always been happy to provide that vital community awareness of our service ... thank you!"

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