Tuross Head surf boat salutes at sea for Anzac Day Dawn Service 2019

Sweep Rob Pollock shares stories in the boat with Kerryl Davie.
Sweep Rob Pollock shares stories in the boat with Kerryl Davie.

It was a sombre morning with a balmy feel to the air as crowds gathered in darkness at the Tuross Head War Memorial Gardens, on Thursday April 25.

Hundreds stood in silence as the catafalque party began to march on the given hour.

As the sun began to lift the darkness, Broulee's surf boat crew was spotted at sea, paying respects to the fallen.

Salute from the sea

Oars set, jackets and head torches on.

The Broulee crew launched their surf boat from One Tree Beach, Tuross Head at 5.45am on Thursday, April 25.

Four rowers, led by a sweep, left the shore and headed into the darkness.

With little light in the sky, they hoped a set wave wouldn't break over the bow.

"Over this one," sweep Rob Pollock called as the boat punched through white wash.

On his next call, "all forward", the crew paused to let green waves pass underneath the boat.

A sigh of relief came from the crew as they made it out past the break.

Montague Island flashed in the far distance as the boat headed north along the coastline.

The sun began to break through the darkness as the crew pulled up to a view of the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the War Memorial Gardens.

A huge crowd overlooked the ocean.

The scene at Tuross Head on April 25, 2019, for the Anzac Day dawn service.

The scene at Tuross Head on April 25, 2019, for the Anzac Day dawn service.

The surf boat sat waiting for the sounds of The Last Post to echo across the water.

Meanwhile, stories of loved ones who fought at war were shared inside the boat.

"I only found out last year that my great grandfather was part of the Australian Light Horse," Sue Dale said.

Mr Pollock wore his family war medals with pride. He remembered his grandfather, Arthur Morey.

The rising sun cuts through the cloud at Tuross Head on April 25, 2019, for the Anzac Day dawn service.

The rising sun cuts through the cloud at Tuross Head on April 25, 2019, for the Anzac Day dawn service.

"He was one of the Rats of Tobruk; he returned on one of the passenger ships unescorted," he said.

"They all arrived back safely.

"It was a poignant moment in Australian history, because if they didn't come back we would have been overruled by the Japanese," Mr Pollock said.

Sadly his grandfather was then sent straight to Borneo where his two brothers were killed in action.

Safe in Tuross Head in 2019, the bugle sounded The Last Post and the crew raised their oars as a mark of respect.

Rob Pollock wears his grandfathers war medals at the Tuross Head Dawn Service 2019.

Rob Pollock wears his grandfathers war medals at the Tuross Head Dawn Service 2019.

Oars were kept in the air, blade tips to the sky as the sun began to peek on the horizon.

Mr Pollock said it was a fitting tribute as a surf boat was a derivative of the rowing boats used at war.

"The surf boat takes its original shape and form from the oared boats which brought the soldiers ashore from the big war ships," he said.

"It really is a fitting tribute we do each year."

The crew rest after making it past the break in the dark morning light.

The crew rest after making it past the break in the dark morning light.

Broulee surf boat crew back safely to the beach after the service. Pictured: Claudia Ferguson, Kerryl Davie, Rob Pollock, Donna Clarke and Sue Dale.

Broulee surf boat crew back safely to the beach after the service. Pictured: Claudia Ferguson, Kerryl Davie, Rob Pollock, Donna Clarke and Sue Dale.

This story 'Sigh of relief as they made it': Lifesavers' salute at sea first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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