The Ship Inn is hosting a celebration tonight to mark the airing of the Aussie Salvage Squad, which stars the Geographe Marine Salvage and Rescue team .
Filmed in the Whitsundays, the show explores the high-stakes work from the team and the world of cyclone induced marine salvage and rescue.
The team spent months clearing debris from Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and returned home to Busselton, TV stars.
Geographe Marine Salvage and Rescue director Luke Purdy took a disaster recovery crew from Busselton to Airlie Beach and worked on rotation helping victims of the cyclone.
A reality show will screen on 7Mate from August 7 based on the team’s recovery effort, which shows them helping victims salvage their belongings after being hit by the cyclone in 2017.
Mr Purdy said he had never seen a community get so beaten in all his salvage operations.
The team drove their 8x8 truck across the country - the only one of its kind in Australia - a salvage boat, land cruiser, more than four tonnes of equipment and worked in some of the toughest conditions to help with the cleanup.
“Our truck was nothing like the Australian Army had, it did everything we wanted it too. We had the Army ask us for a hand to deliver water to a community because it was too hard for them to get there,” he said.
“We put five-tonne of water on the back and did it in one crack.”
During the recovery operation, Mr Purdy said they dragged 40-tonne yachts out of mangroves that were 500 metres up hills, then would drag the yachts to water so they could be re-floated and patched onsite.
“We steamed through some rough seas and pumped through big swells under a 20 minute time frame in places we had never been before.”
After returning to Busselton, Mr Purdy received a phone call from Channel 7 to say they wanted to make a television series about them.
“I was pretty broken at that point but thought this chance only ever comes up once and I may as well have a crack, so we went back and did it all over again,” he said.
“It will be great to see it come out especially because we are all Busselton crew.”
Team member Jayde Towers said it was uncomfortable to have cameras following them but they got used to it.