Manly-based Brisbane Coast Guard turns 49 - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Bruce Fleming, the father of Brisbane Coast Guard. Photos: Supplied.


In November 1972, after a fatal boating accident near Amity, Bruce Fleming and six fishermen mates created a volunteer rescue team in Moreton Bay using their own boats.

Demand was so strong that Bruce and his mates decided to seek support from the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard. They received their official Coast Guard Charter on November 13, 1973 – 49 years ago!

Originally based in a Wynnum garage, they soon required more space. Leasing land on Manly’s Norfolk Point, the volunteers built the current Coast Guard base themselves in 1979.

To date, Brisbane Coast Guard volunteers have completed over six thousand ‘assists’, rescued over ten thousand people, and earning over a hundred national medals and commendations.

One member (Steve Creevey of Wynnum) has uniquely won two National Bravery Decorations for rescues, Three others also earned Bravery Awards, and one (Allan Tennent) has received an Order of Australia.

The Lord Mayor of Brisbane became their Patron in 2008. In 2013, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said, “These volunteers receive no pay for their brave work. They deserve their medals and a great deal of gratitude besides, for their courage and their dedication. They are true heroes, one and all”.

Bruce Fleming continued serving as a volunteer at Brisbane Coast Guard until his death last year. He lived to see his son Steve Fleming elected as commander three times. Craig Bowen, another son of an early member, is currently Commander, as Coast Guard prepares to celebrate its 49th year in Manly this November.

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