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October 27, 2011
Sailors impress Her Majesty
SPIC 'N' SPAN: (L-R) LSMT Mathew Guy, LSBM Dave
Herra, LEUT Amy Johanson, POB Keith Schodel,
ABBM Luke Pertovt and ABBM Lucy Ricketts prepare
the Admiral's Barge ahead of official duties escort-
ing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal
Highness Prince Philip from Government House across
Lake Burley Griffin to Commonwealth Park.
Photo: SGT Bill Guthrie
By LEUT Andrew Ragless
ACCORDING to the three members
of the VIP Boat Squadron, October
20 was just another day in the office.
It also happened to be the day they
took Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
II and the Duke of Edinburgh on
a 25-minute journey across Lake
Burley Griffin on day one of their
visit to Canberra.
ABBM Lucy Ricketts, LSMT
Mathew Guy and POB Keith Schodel
make up the RAN's VIP Boat
Squadron, a specialist team based at
"I know it sounds a bit blasé, but
this sort of thing is our job -- this is
what we do often with people like the
Governor-General and the Chief of
Navy," POB Schodel said.
"If I think about who's sitting
behind me, then that's when I'll start
to feel the pressure and I might make
mistakes. So I just need to concentrate
on the job, which I know we can all
The three sailors played a vital
role on day one of the Royal visit to
Australia and possibly the last visit to
our shores for the Queen.
"Everything went like clockwork,"
POB Schodel said.
"The Royal couple turned to us as
they disembarked at Commonwealth
Park and Her Majesty said to me it
was a lovely journey and she enjoyed
it very much."
POB Schodel was given
strict instructions to arrive at
Commonwealth Park within a 10-sec-
ond window on the journey from
Government House, and not to exceed
the speed limit of 15 knots with Her
Majesty aboard. When approaching
Regatta Point, Her Majesty requested
the Barge slow to less than 10 knots so
she could greet the crowds amassing
on the shoreline.
"We're ecstatic," POB Schodel
said. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime
event and the team did a marvellous
job."The VIP Boat Squadron was com-
plemented in Canberra by three mem-
bers of the Port Services division at
Waterhen. LSBM Dave Herra and
ABBM Luke Pertovt conducted gang-
way duties and stood by as relief crew
for the Admiral's Barge, while LEUT
Amy Johanson watched on as relief
Photo: LAC Leigh Cameron
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