High-energy 70-year-old jumps ship

JUMPING off a boat into a choppy ocean may have given Brigid Holmes pause for thought but radio operations are second nature to her.

And now the new Yeppoon Coast Guard volunteer can add assisting on a hi-line transfer with the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service to her list of achievements.

"We had to keep in touch with the helicopter while they flew over and checked the speed and had to slow the boat for them to winch someone on board and back up," Brigid said.

"It's very clever and exciting. They do a wonderful job," she said.

Brigid was relaying her experiences of rescue training with paramedics and CHS crew on Keppel Bay on a blustery Wednesday morning.

The fit 70-year-old has been a keen aviator throughout her colourful life and keeps just as busy in retirement. She also volunteers at the Community Development Centre.

"Age is no barrier," she said.

"I've always been impressed by what they (the Coast Guard) do and thoroughly enjoy it."

Bill Chapman fancies himself one of the oldest members of the Yeppoon Coast Guard but he certainly seems to be wearing a younger man's shoes.

Arriving on these sunny shores in 1968 from his native New York Bill is all too familiar with the waters of Keppel Bay and the Fitzroy Delta - he's lost three boats in his time.

"I owe the Coast Guard a lot and have a lot of capabilities I can give to them," he said.



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