Wednesday Mar 25, 2009
Calming voice across troubled waters
By Vaimoana Tapaleao
regarded as the angel of the sea in Great Barrier Island, helping
lost and distressed boaties find their way home.
Pratt has been the comforting voice behind the marine radio on the
Barrier for 16 years.
as the first point of call for boaties, she starts at 7am, keeping
watch and liaising with police and emergency services when there is
a lost boat at sea.
really neat knowing you can help somebody and for them to know that
you're there at the other end of the line," she said.
her shift officially ends at 10pm, Ms Pratt is always on hand to
deal with any emergencies after hours and is known to stay on the
radio all night to comfort those distressed.
said several cases where a major emergency has occurred - like an
elderly man suffering a heart attack and another person threatening
to commit suicide - have tested her nerves.
just got to stay calm. You can usually tell in their voice that
there's a bit of panic there and once they know that help is coming
it calms them down."
Joy Nicholson - who nominated Ms Pratt as an unsung hero - said her
calming nature makes her ideal for the role.
you're out there on a boat in rough weather, lost, just lying there
and you can hear her voice - just hearing that voice comforts you,"
Mrs Nicholson says.
the angel of the sea."