THE volunteers of the Ballina Jet Boat rescue service have been recognised for their dramatic rescue of two boat crews, including that of the town's Marine Rescue boat, in April.
The Jet Boat crew was called out in the early hours of April 15 after the Marine Rescue boat flipped while trying to rescue the crew of a motor cruiser on the Ballina bar.
The two crews and the stricken rescue vessel were found about two kilometres out to sea and taken on board the Jet Boat.
However, with seas still running high the Jet Boat was unable to get back in over the bar and, with members of the rescued crews showing signs of hypothermia, skipper Mark Puglisi made the call to run his boat ashore on Shelly Beach.
The Marine Rescue boat and the motor cruiser were later found washed up at South Ballina. The Marine Rescue boat has since been replaced.
In a statement, Surf Life Saving NSW listed the rescue as their Rescue of the Month for April.
"The bravery, skill and level-headed response shown by the crew and volunteers of the Ballina Jet Boat Surf Rescue saved five lives on this night," the association's commendation to the crew reads.
The Rescue of the Month is part of Surf Life Saving NSW's Rescue of the Year award process, with monthly winners making up the finals list for the annual gong.
This is the first time in nearly a year the award has gone to a Northern Rivers organisation.
Rescue of the Month recipients at state level receive a $400 Surf Store credit, a pair of waterproof binoculars, a plaque and a framed citation.
More details and past recipients are available on the Rescue of the Month Recognition Page.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.