Volunteer of the Month: Mark “Doogs” Legg

Volunteer Profile: Mark “Doogs” Legg

As a fourth-generation local member of the Cape Paterson SLSC, with father Les Legg a founding member in 1960, Mark Legg spent his Sundays going to the beach to swim and play as he watched his dad and being a sweep training with his mates, who he calls ‘de facto uncles’. One, Bill Owens, gave Mark his nickname ‘Doogle’, which got shortened to Doogs.

“I just wanted to be like my dad, a compassionate man, which I have achieved,” says Mark. “I got my Bronze in April 1978 as part of the first Bronze squad out of Wonthaggi Technical school. It was so we could run a surfing activity, which still runs to this day.”

He has just completed his 40th patrol year. This is his lifesaving story:

Current Club: Cape Paterson SLSC

Volunteer Roles: Many over the years, such as committee member, gear steward (1980 to1985 and 2010 to 2013), IRB captain (1980 to 1984 and 2007 to 2010) and a patrol captain since 1982. 

How long have you been involved in lifesaving? I’ve been patrolling for 40 years.

What made you become involved in lifesaving? Wanting to be like my dad.

What are some of your responsibilities at your club? Assist with gear maintenance, Bronze camps, IRB training and camps, Nippers water safety, the Aquathon event, PC of retro patrol and mentoring of up-and-coming club members, as well as fundraising with my annual snail races and Friday night meat raffle at the Cape Tavern.

What do you enjoy most about lifesaving? The family atmosphere of the club and the movement in Victoria. All clubs are very welcoming, and I am a great fan of IRB racing – I love the way ducks have evolved over the years and are always being improved. I got to try the new Gen 3 Thunder Cats at Apollo Bay – very nice!

How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering? Even if you can’t swim well, there are other jobs to do – such as first aid, radios and admin, so you can still be a part of the movement.

What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far? Successful resuscitation of a good mate, who was clinically dead for four minutes. It was with the help of my club mates and all the training paid off that day – big time!

What types of rescues have you been involved in? Lots of spinals [Cape Paterson is notorious for its low tide dump], resuscitations, search and rescue operations, boat tows, lost children, cliff rescues, chopper evacuations and body recoveries.

What’s been the most surprising part of being a volunteer with your club? That the family attitude that started when the club was formed is still present in the club to this day, 58 years on.

When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy? Helping the IRB racing over winter with carnival set-up and running all over the state when I can, helping to get a new club house for Cape Paterson SLSC, surfing the bombora off Cape, SES duties as a coxswain in a 5.3-metre RHIB Inverloch unit [the only marine unit in the state], as well as fishing and hunting.

What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you? In any situation talk softy, it has a calming effect on the people you are talking to and can soften a situation – advice from my grandmother.

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