General News

Iluka Yamba Marine Rescue Golf Day

The Iluka/Yamba Volunteer Marine Rescue unit will hold a Golf Day on Sunday January 2.   Entries are now open and can be made via Iluka Golf Club on 02 6646 6408. There is a limit of 72 players so be quick to enter. 

Visitors are most welcome, come along and buy a raffle ticket, enjoy a drink, sausage sandwich, or enter a team to support our Marine Rescue.

For further information, you can contact Ross Minchin on 0439 082 920.

History of the Iluka Yamba Coast Guard/Marine Rescue radio base

In 1982 a marine radio base was opened by Bob and Linda Carr in their Yamba home with a 27MHz radio and operating under the Coast Guard banner as part of the NSW Northern Squadron within the National Volunteer Coast Guard Association.

Following the closure of this Base in June 1983 a temporary Base was setup at Iluka in a caravan at Silver’s Boat Shed – operating only at weekends and public holidays.

By 1985 a small brick radio shed was setup at Spencer Street boat ramp.

Trawlers and privately owned vessels were used for rescues, and the Base relied on members travelling to the present Base site to view and report on the bar conditions using a handheld radio. The Base was equipped with 27MHz, VHF, UHF Surf Club and CB (Ch.22) radios.

April 1990 the present Base was opened by the Federal local member, Ian Causley.

The Base and a 21-metre radio tower were built entirely by volunteer labour and donations along with funds raised from BBQ’s and raffles all organized by the members.

In 1990 the Base was affiliated with Coast Guard. For offshore rescues, Coastguard leased the “Sunshine” (former trawler) for a small fee. In October 1999 “Sunshine”

was sold and the flotilla was left without a rescue vessel until CG1, a 3.8 metre runabout was purchased from GC Evans Head. It was later replaced by Sailfish Catamaran 8.2 metre powered by 2 175HP outboards – GC 17.

There have been many outstanding members over the years and here are some names that may bring back memories:

Bill Cathage – he constructed the 21-metre communications tower in his backyard and arranged it to be installed.

Neville Sharman who carried out all the plumbing work free of cost. Bill (Blue) Donsworth – ex-Navy, who had an enormous impact on the local fishing industry and the Base as a radio operator.

Listed are the names of the 19 Founding members: Gus Kreffer, Jack

Sharman, Jock Burnett, Frank Poore, Norm Fisher, Bill Donsworth, John Ravet, Phil Gasnier, Joe Comber, Linda Carr, Bob Carr, Bob Conway, Bob Fotheringham, John Collis, Silver Laibl, Allan Shepherd, Bruce Drummer, Steve Gill and John Whiteside.

These people displayed great foresight to establish the facilities that we have today.

Jack & Jean Dengate Cup

Jack and Jean Dengate moved to the Iluka Peninsula (Goodward Island) in 1989.

Jean immediately joined Coast Guard as a radio operator and along with Jack commenced their long association with the Iluka Golf Club. Jack was a pretty good sportsman, excelling in tennis, water skiing and an excellent golfer- natural swing and low handicap figures.

In 1992 Jean with support from Jack and close family friends put together a golf tournament at the Iluka Golf Club, whose prime objective was to raise funds for the local Coast Guard flotilla. It was timed to capture all those golfers that visited Iluka from the Northern Rivers region during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

This annual Charity Golf Day has continued to this day with the only interruption being due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Golf Day has been responsible for raising funds to improve the radio base and rescue vessel facilities and services to the local recreational boating community.

Jean Dengate has been the organiser/driver/dictator, ably supported over these years by her late husband Jack.

To recognise their enormous contribution, in 2020 we introduced the Jack & Jean Dengate Cup. This perpetual trophy is engraved with the winner’s names and rests in the trophy cabinet at the Iluka Golf Club.

Ann Oddy