GOOD SPIRITS: Dawn Stephenson (left) and Yvonne Carson pop the cork on the champers to help bless the new Coast Guard boat and keep it safe.
GOOD SPIRITS: Dawn Stephenson (left) and Yvonne Carson pop the cork on the champers to help bless the new Coast Guard boat and keep it safe. PAUL MILTON-BUTLER

New Coast Guard vessel floated on Keppel’s community spirit

THE tiny hamlet of Keppel Sands has just 320 people but what a truly amazing group they are.

They raised $145,000 to help buy a new boat for their volunteer Coast Guard costing $290,000.

The commander of the Keppel Sands Coast Guard, Dennis Bryant, was thrilled at their new acquisition and thanked the residents of Keppel Sands and Emu Park for making it possible.

"This is a fantastic day for us and our communities and I want to thank everybody involved in getting this new boat," Mr Bryant said.

After the blessing of the boat by the minister of the Baptist Union of Queensland, Matt Hanlon, the boat was christened with a bottle of champagne.

The honour of spraying the bubbly over the vessel went to Dawn Stephenson, from Central Highlands Safety Services and Yvonne Carson from Keppel Sands Coast Guard.

After climbing up on to the boat, Ms Carson had the honour of popping the cork and the cheers went out as the bubbly sprayed up from the bottle and splashed down over the boat.

Naming rights were also given to CHSS after they agreed to sponsor the boat for the next 10 years.

And a member of the Keppel Sands Coast Guard, Darryl Prizeman, was honoured and recognised for his 20 years of service to the Coast Guard.

"I still enjoy being a member of the volunteer Coast Guard and I still love it as much as the first day I joined in 1983," he said.



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