Albany’s Most Influential — the rescuer

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Albany sea rescue operations co-ordinator, Chris Johns shared his experience as a volunteer.
Camera IconAlbany sea rescue operations co-ordinator, Chris Johns shared his experience as a volunteer. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

People like Chris Johns don’t risk their life for awards or recognition.

The veteran sea rescue volunteer and experienced commercial diver said as much in the Albany Advertiser after receiving the Emergency Services Medal in 2017.

“You do it to serve your community and then it just gets into your veins and becomes a major part of your life,” Mr Johns said.

Mr Johns, the operations co-ordinator of Albany Sea Rescue, has been serving with the group for 20 years.

He loves the Albany coastline, but he knows all too well it can be dangerous if not respected.

Mr Johns goes above and beyond in his role to shape community attitudes to coastal safety and improve the standard of emergency responses.

He was involved in the development and Statewide introduction of Naiad fast response vessels, as well as the fine-turning of WA sea rescue methods.

He has trained dozens of new sea rescue volunteers and he is no stranger to advocating for common sense water safety in the news media.

“None of us like extra regulation, and I’m one of them. I’m so old I saw this when seat belts came in,” Johns said last year when campaigning for mandatory life jackets for rock fishers.

“But we know from experience...that education doesn’t improve buoyancy.

“And I can tell you first hand what the emotional damage is to first-response crews when you see police pulling in a rope that someone was tied to, with no one on the end of it.”

Click here for the full Albany’s Most Influential list.

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