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VMR Whitsunday This is the official page for Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday. Our mission is primarily to save

This is the official page for Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday

ADVICE TO PWC/JETSKI OWNERSA major service provided by VMR Whitsunday is to tow vessels to a safe haven (usually their l...
24/11/2023

ADVICE TO PWC/JETSKI OWNERS
A major service provided by VMR Whitsunday is to tow vessels to a safe haven (usually their launching point, where possible). Jetskis are different to standard boats in that they have a water intake at the front, and we have been advised that engine damage may be caused by towing above a recommended speed – sometimes as low as 6 knots - for some makes and models.

VMR Whitsunday offers a towing service for most vessels including jetskis, conditions permitting. We suggest that you check your jetski operator’s manual or consult your dealer whether there is a recommended procedure to be completed before towing commences – for example, some models have a tap/valve which must be turned off, or you can carry clamps (like those illustrated) to shut off the intake flow. It will be the jetski owner’s responsibility to take the recommended remedial action, including the positioning of clamps. VMR Whitsunday is not an expert in jetskis, but can tow them – at the owner’s own risk, at an agreed safe speed. You are responsible for any damage that may be caused by towing.

An example of the clamps we refer to can be seen in the photo, these are from Supercheap but all other parts suppliers will have similar devices. (n.b. this is for illustration only, we do not advocate any particular product or business.)

If you call for assistance, we are prepared to tow you, but our skippers have been instructed that the tow cannot commence before you sign our standard indemnity document. VMR Whitsunday does not suggest any particular approach to be taken or devices to be used for the tow, and your agreement will signify your acceptance of full responsibility.

PERSONAL WATERCRAFT SPEED AND DISTANCE
It is important that PWC/Jetski operators do not exceed set speed limits for your safety and that of everyone else on the water. Do not travel at speeds where your wash can cause damage to the shoreline, other boats, or injury to others, or at a speed where you may easily lose control. Consider the density of traffic in the area to determine a safe speed.

When riding a PWC the following distances MUST BE MAINTAINED, OR SPEED REDUCED TO 6KNOTS (APPROX. 11KPH) WITHIN 60METRES FROM:
• people in the water
• anchored or moored boats, boat ramps, jetties or pontoons
• the shore
• the boundary of a bathing reserve.

Jetskis are fun, but safety comes first for your sake and that of other people in or on the water.

VMRW membership is cheap insurance at just $90. You can join online at https://vmrwhitsundays.com.au/join/ and your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us. We hope you don’t!

🚤 SETTING SAIL: SPONSORSHIPS, DONATIONS and FINANCES 💰Ahoy, VMR Whitsunday crew! As we navigate the waters of change, le...
20/11/2023

🚤 SETTING SAIL: SPONSORSHIPS, DONATIONS and FINANCES 💰
Ahoy, VMR Whitsunday crew! As we navigate the waters of change, let's talk about some crucial aspects, and what we know so far. Here's the lowdown. 🌊

🛥️ THE NAME ON OUR BOAT - UNCHANGED 🏷️
The MRQ Integration Team assures us that maintaining current arrangements, including sponsorships, is a key principle during this transition. We all work together here at the local level, and that will not change.as we sail forward together.

🔧 USING LOCAL TRADES AND RESOURCES - UNCHANGED 🛠️
While the financial and admin gears are turning to meet operational needs, fear not. We won't be tethered to specific providers for urgent boat matters. It is our understanding that we'll keep the flexibility to work with our trusted local businesses, just as we always have. Your support and our community ties remain the wind in our sails.

🤝 MAINTAINING CLOSE TIES WITH OUR COMMUNITY - UNCHANGED 🏡
To quote the MRQ Integration Team: "Unit partnerships will be managed by units, with the funds spent locally on their intended purpose." Cheers to that! We cherish the relationships and friendships we've built over the decades with our local business community. Any financial benefits received will definitely circulate right here in the heart of the Whitsundays.

🗣️ HEARD ANY RUMOURS? LET US SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT! 🕵️‍♀️
Have whispers of transition reached your ears? If so, share the story, and we'll gladly spill the beans on what we know. Your trust means the world to us as we embark on this exciting journey to a changed, but positive marine rescue future. Thanks for being part of the adventure! 🌟⚓😊

VMR WHITSUNDAY SEARCH AND RESCUE BUILDING PROJECT IS GOING WELLThe project is on target and has been through the stages ...
18/11/2023

VMR WHITSUNDAY SEARCH AND RESCUE BUILDING PROJECT IS GOING WELL

The project is on target and has been through the stages of installing the flooring joists, flooring panels and exterior framework, without any weather interference. This week the builders broke through the walls into the existing training room, removed ceilings and some walls and we now have the roofing ready to remove.

On Monday they will remove the sheeting and existing roof trusses, before lifting in the new roof trusses. Then it is full speed ahead, to get the new Magnaflow roof sheeting in place. So far, it is all good. Throughout the project, we have ensured that we use components that are salt resistant and with cyclone ratings in mind. Throughout the building works, our Active Volunteer Radio Operators will have continuing access for their weekend shifts.

The building is environmentally friendly, with a larger solar power system with batteries that will allow power to be continuous in the event of the Ergon grid failing. To cover longer power outages, we will also have a diesel generator which is configured to cut in when the batteries run low, to maintain constant power availability. The walls and ceiling are insulated for heat and sound, to reduce air-conditioning costs and to reduce sound transfer between the two building levels and surrounding areas. All light fittings are LED and fans are low voltage, to reduce power usage. Windows will be heat reflective and minimised on the hot Western wall.

Internally, the electrical fit-out will be high tech – moving away from old-tech communication and radio systems and installing electronic meeting room equipment.

All of this has been made possible through a grant from the Federal Government Investing in Our Communities program.

Roger Wodson, Project Manager and VMR Whitsunday Life Member

Activation 14/11/2023: 26’ cabin cruiser requiring assistance at Whitehaven Beach.Typical Tuesday, the training notifica...
16/11/2023

Activation 14/11/2023: 26’ cabin cruiser requiring assistance at Whitehaven Beach.

Typical Tuesday, the training notification was on hand, mail cards to friends and family and answer my phone jangling to the emergency tone! Ray our 24/7 phone holder said those magic words “a breakdown at Whitehaven Beach”! I was dressed in moments, called to my partner “lets go”, and off we went; embarking on Coral Sea Marina VMR1 for a lovely trip to Whitehaven Beach.

Conditions were near perfect, both Phil and Barry were busy preparing VMR1 for departure when Donna and I arrived. Quickly to task, checking the transmission, both ahead and astern, all other checks completed we departed. The transit to Whitehaven was perfect; wind with tide, slight swell, bright sunlight, all is good with the day.

Our target vessel was a 26’ cabin cruiser requiring assist, location not clear, but available on channel 16 (thank goodness, without this, our rescue would have been made decidedly more difficult as the reported latitude and longitude placed the vessel somewhere east of Border Island!) Once voice communications were established, the skipper of the disabled vessel assured us they were located at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach. I chose to take the western approach past Esk Island, positioning us well within visual range of all anchored vessels, just in case there was some confusion with exact location. We established communications and asked for a location, “we are at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach, next to a white catamaran. While passing Hill Inlet we received a radio call stating we had just passed the target vessel (northern end of Whitehaven Beach).

Our arrival coincided with the bottom of the tide, I was reluctant to venture too close to the vessel at anchor as my instruments were not painting a good picture, a little too shallow for us! So lads, launch the tender, take the tow line with you and the paperwork, if you please. Tow line attached, anchor raised and we were on our way back to Coral Sea Marina.

Near the lateral markers of the marina, and with some good line handling by the crew, we soon had the assisted vessel along side for the completion of the paperwork. They were able to start one of their engines and confident they could enter the marina safely under their own steam. We then proceeded directly to our pen and commenced shutdown procedures.

Many thanks to the Crew who made this a success: Donna D, Phil H and Barry L.
Skipper: Paul M.

MEDICAL EVACUATIONSVMR Whitsunday regularly conducts medical evacuations at the request of the Queensland Ambulance Serv...
13/11/2023

MEDICAL EVACUATIONS
VMR Whitsunday regularly conducts medical evacuations at the request of the Queensland Ambulance Service. When a call goes to 000, the duty QAS supervisor considers all aspects of the call for help, such as the seriousness of the injury or illness, before deciding whether a medivac is necessary, and whether it is best performed by helicopter or by sea. Sometimes the weather precludes the use of the helicopter or it is unavailable, and we are called into action. At other times, we are their first call. Medivacs can be literally anywhere in the Whitsundays, from any of the island resorts, or from boats at sea or around the islands, from campgrounds, maybe even on the outer reef. They can be at any time, day or night, in almost any conditions, and we always have at least one and sometimes two QAS Paramedics on board when we do a medivac.

Coral Sea Marina VMR1 was designed specifically to handle medivacs, as well as other activations. We carry on board our own QAS stretcher, and an addition to our equipment was a “Combi-Carrier”, or split backboard, that allows easier, safer and more comfortable transfers of a patient onto and off Coral Sea Marina VMR1, to or from a new model QAS stretcher on shore.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY AT SEA OR ON THE ISLANDS?
In the Whitsundays we only have a relatively small number of volunteers and can only open our radio base from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm, on weekends and public holidays. Outside of these hours, calls via VHF channels 16 or 67 are monitored by Whitsunday VTS or VMR Mackay, and emergencies are relayed to us by phone. Channels 81 (Whitsunday Island) and 82 (Hayman Island) are monitored during the day by commercial operators. We have a roster of 24-hour Volunteer phone holders who respond to all phone calls (4946 7207) 24/7, and we attend to emergencies on the water and on the islands if re-quired, 24/7/365. Sometimes we are tasked by the Water Police, at others by QAS. This arrangement has been in place for many years and is approved by Maritime Safety Queensland and AMSA. We do not take log-on or log-off calls when the base is closed, so it is important that boaties tell someone where they are going and when they will be back.

SO, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GET AN EMERGENCY CALL?
Our radio or emergency phone holder takes all the details, and calls one of our Search and Rescue Co-ordinators (SARCO), who usually approves the activation of one of our rescue vessels. The SARCO advises the radio or phone operator of any special requirements, recommends any special skills or equipment required, and which rescue boat to take. The radio/phone operator then uses our mobile phone app. to assemble a volunteer crew.

In the Whitsundays last year, we averaged one activation every 32.5 hours - and some of those are back-to-back at times. Activations have no regular pattern, and we rely on assembling a crew when required. For most activations on Coral Sea Marina VMR1 we need a Skipper, a Senior Crew and 2 other crew members. On VMR2 the minimum crew is usually a Skipper and a Senior Crew member.

When the rescue vessel leaves the port, the phone or radio operator and usually Whitsunday VTS are advised, and it can be tracked on Marinetraffic.com (AIS) https://www.marinetraffic.com/. VMR1 has been clearly visible on AIS as far out as Square Reef, 65 miles from Airlie Beach. The operator is then advised at the completion of the activation that the vessel has been refuelled and is available for the next activation.

VMRW membership is cheap insurance at just $90. You can join online at https://vmrwhitsundays.com.au/join/ and your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us.

Activation 8/11/2023: Dark and stormy night for a Medivac.Will it, or won’t it, that was my question.I wasn’t asking our...
11/11/2023

Activation 8/11/2023: Dark and stormy night for a Medivac.

Will it, or won’t it, that was my question.

I wasn’t asking our 24hour emergency phone operator Bill. He had called me at 20.00 and asked me if I could do a Medi-vac from Hamilton Island, the question was asked of myself after I had said yes to Bill and was dressing for the adventure.

A look out the window at the low cloud on a moonless night with a good breeze blowing from the East, and I answered myself, yes probably, so I grabbed my lightweight waterproof jacket as well.

I should have picked up the heavy one instead.

With crew of Ray and Mike as well as our paramedic on board Coral Sea Marina VMR1, we dodged a rain shower as we departed for the journey to Hamilton Island. Clear air was drowned in passing showers as we headed across Whitsunday Passage, and made our way to our pick up point within the marina.

Once we had our medical case aboard and turned to head home was when I realized I needed my heavier coat, to match the downpour. Mike went below briefly to grab himself a jacket while I headed into the wall of water falling from the sky, and of course the breeze picked up sharply under the cloud front.

The need to keep a proper lookout meant we had to leave the protective clear screens rolled up, so it was cold, wet and windy as we travelled at 22 knots through the squall to get our warm, dry passengers to land and the hospital.

Back in Coral Sea Marina and with our passengers on their way we decided as we refuelled in the rain that we didn’t need to hose the salt off VMR1 tonight, so with the paperwork finished we headed home to a nice hot cup of tea and a warm towel at 23.30.

Thanks again to Ray and Mike for their time and expertise. Well done gentlemen.

Crew: Ray L and Mike D.
Until next time. Your skipper; Ron R.

VMR SEARCH AND RESCUE ROOM PROJECT IS OFF AND RUNNING.In preparation for yesterday’s major event, Whitsunday Council had...
07/11/2023

VMR SEARCH AND RESCUE ROOM PROJECT IS OFF AND RUNNING.

In preparation for yesterday’s major event, Whitsunday Council had removed their boardwalk security camera receiving tower, VMR had dropped their HF radio antenna, Green Energy Technologies had removed and taken away the existing solar system and Ben Doolin Builders had manufactured a huge steel truss in the carpark, removed the Marine Club ceiling (and 30 years of wiring from the trusses), and unscrewed most of the roof sheeting in readiness for the big event.

It all went like clockwork, which is a tribute to Ben Doolin and Ryan Cunningham from Davies Cranes Whitsunday Davies Cranes Whitsunday. The Whitsunday community is heavily involved, with Ben being a member of Whitsunday Game Fishing Club and Ryan a former VMR skipper. WGFC and VMRW are joint owners of the building and council lease. Thanks especially to Ryan for donating his crane services and Kon Flaherty at Green Energy Technologies for donating removal and storage for the solar removal.

The roof sheeting was off quickly and trusses disconnected before lifting off with the monster Davies crane. As soon as the trusses were gone, the BDB team worked feverishly to finalise the preparation for the huge steel truss and steel beam supports required to support the building extension. Fortunately, the Marine Club building structure had been built to support a future building level.

The massive steel truss and support beams were carefully lowered in place and fitted perfectly. Now building work can begin.

Roger Wodson Project manager and VMR Life Member

🔍 THE VMR WORLD: WHAT TO EXPECT ON JULY 1 🚤Hello, VMR Whitsunday community! It's time for a fresh update on the changes ...
06/11/2023

🔍 THE VMR WORLD: WHAT TO EXPECT ON JULY 1 🚤
Hello, VMR Whitsunday community! It's time for a fresh update on the changes headed our way. Here's what we know so far. 📅

🛠️ TRANSITION PERIOD AHEAD ⏳
The integration under Queensland Police is set for July 1, but we understand that not all Units will join MRQ at the same time. What's looking very likely is that VMR and Coastguard Units in the same geographic area will transition simultaneously. This coordinated approach should help streamline the integration process and keep things running smoothly.

🧩 MORE THAN JUST REBADGING BOATS 🚢
Over the past two months four marine rescue units (Caloundra, Bribie Island, Shorncliffe and Manly) have been part of a pilot project to work out the nuts and bolts of what changes might be involved, such as ICT systems, facilities, finances, training, assets and volunteer recruitment.

❓ WHEN WILL VMR WHITSUNDAY TRANSITION? 🤔
The million-dollar question! We don't have all the answers just yet, but a transition plan is in the works as we speak. We've been informed that we should have it by the end of this year. That means we'll know soon, and you can bet we'll be sharing every detail with you.
Your support and understanding mean the world to us as we embark on this journey together. Stay tuned for more updates, and if you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to share them with us. We're here to serve our amazing community! 😊🚤⚓

DISTRESS SIGNALS, FLARES and EMERGENCY BEACONS. If you are in an emergency on the water and need help, you can use distr...
04/11/2023

DISTRESS SIGNALS, FLARES and EMERGENCY BEACONS.
If you are in an emergency on the water and need help, you can use distress signals to show you are in distress and need assistance, and OTHER VESSELS IN THE VICINIY MUST BE AWARE OF AND RESPOND TO ANY EMERGENCY SIGNALS. We are aware of some incidents where vessels used emergency signals such as V-sheets to indicate that they required assistance, but passing vessels did not respond.

SIGNALLING DEVICES are compulsory for all boats operating between sunset and sunrise. A torch, fluorescent light, lantern or cyalume stick are all suitable as long as they generate enough light to be seen by other boats and prevent a collision and attract attention. Other distress signals include marine radio broadcast, flares, signal mirror, V sheet and sound signal.

FLARES are a way for a boat in trouble to attract the attention of other boats or aircraft in the area. All vessels and PWCs (excluding a tender not requiring registration) operating beyond smooth water limits must carry handheld orange smoke and handheld red flares as part of their safety equipment. Use handheld orange smoke signals for daytime and handheld red flares for night time. Always read the instructions and familiarise yourself with their operation before storing your flares on board. Store flares in a dry place where they will be readily accessible in an emergency. Flares have a lifespan of three years and must be replaced prior to the expiry date. Boaties are reminded to dispose of old flares correctly. In Airlie, take them to the WRC Waste Station in Cannonvale.

An EMERGENCY POSITION INDICATING RADIO BEACON (EPIRB) is an electronic device that, when activated, can help search and rescue authorities pinpoint your position. Once activated, EPIRBs continuously send out a signal for at least 48 hours. All boats must carry a 406MHz EPIRB when operating more than 2 nautical miles from land or outside smooth and partially smooth water limits. Maritime Safety Queensland recommends the use of EPIRBs fitted with an inbuilt GPS as they provide rescuers with your location quicker and with greater accuracy compared to EPIRBs without GPS. EPIRBs must comply with the Australian Standard 4280.1:2003 and be registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority – registration is free, and must be renewed every 2 years.

A VHF radio is strongly recommended, and the emergency channels of 16 and 67 are monitored 24/7.

VMRW membership is cheap insurance at just $90. You can join online at https://vmrwhitsundays.com.au/join/ and your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us. We hope you don’t!!

Sausage Sizzle Saturday. 😋 Searching for a super snag sanger? VMR to the rescue! Head to Bunnings tomorrow and see what'...
03/11/2023

Sausage Sizzle Saturday. 😋 Searching for a super snag sanger? VMR to the rescue! Head to Bunnings tomorrow and see what's cooking.....we'll be there cooking up a storm with sausages from Master Butchers Whitsunday! Come along and support VMR, because when you do, you are supporting our community.

WHAT DO VMR WHITSUNDAY CREWS DO IN THEIR SPARE TIME BETWEEN RESCUES?....Replace the aging radio tower on Mt Robison, Whi...
28/10/2023

WHAT DO VMR WHITSUNDAY CREWS DO IN THEIR SPARE TIME BETWEEN RESCUES?....Replace the aging radio tower on Mt Robison, Whitsunday Island, that's what!

The Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday Maintenance crew undertook a massive project recently, expensive in Volunteer hours and monies.

The antenna array on Mt. Robison was showing its age and struggling to maintain service. Reports stated it was likely to collapse should we endure a cyclone this coming season. Our Senior Skipper and Maintenance Officer, Ken was eager to get on with the task, he just loves a challenge! Maintenance crew members, Donna, James and I were enthused to undertake the project with Ken, something a little remote from vessel maintenance!

Initially we looked at the prospect of making the antenna structure ourselves. Then we became were aware of an old antenna 'somewhere in Woodwark'. Ken undertook the investigation into the antenna’s exact location. Surprisingly, several persons knew where we could find it - near a nearby Telstra repeater. After gaining permission to enter the private property, Ken, James and I ventured into the wilds of the Woodwork hills, following a track reportedly leading to the tower. Fortunately Ken’s vehicle was 4 wheel drive equipped - the track was barely discernible, a rugged journey awaited us. The tower was located on a very steep slope overlooking Paradise Cove villas - what a splendid vista to behold! Our hopes were dampened somewhat at the sight of the tower. It had been folded into 3 sections (apparently the tower had fallen across the track required by the Telstra communications crew and considered abandoned). We were able to salvage sufficient sections to meet our immediate needs.

After some straightening, much sanding and even more coats of galvanising paint we were in a position to start assembling the tower. Donna proved to be an accomplished sander and painter, thank you! We measured twice and cut once, ensuring each section fitted and married up to the correct fittings. Guy wires were accurately measured and attached as each section was assembled. Each of the antennas was positioned and pointing in the required direction. Halyards were attached to provide easy access to tools and to act as stabilisers as we were securing the guy wires to support the tower. The completed tower was then transported to the airfield adjacent to Helibiz (whose job was to deliver us and the tower to Mt. Robison). All we needed now was calm weather.

A few days were slated - each proved to disappoint for one reason or another. On our third attempt success! We assembled at Helibiz, along with our goods and tools to be loaded onto the awaiting chopper. Phil joined us for this final phase of the project - his height and strength a welcome addition to the team.

We readied for departure only to be delayed by skydivers; each of us eager to get on with the job! Finally we were aloft! Our transit to the bare rock was awe inspiring: the landing pad is small, antennas and guy wires fully occupied the western approach, a skilful Pilot saw us safely delivered. We quickly set about the task at hand - dismantling the old antenna and preparing for the arrival of the new array.

The returning chopper was an awesome sight, with the antenna slung vertically below the chopper. We had pre-positioned guides around the heavy base; the Pilot did an exceptional job lowering the 14 metre structure with delicate precision. We quickly secured the antenna to the base and set about positioning the upper and lower guy wires - a simple sounding task, but time consuming. This required drilling new anchor points into rock as well as using existing anchor points to attach the turnbuckles used for tensioning the guy wires.

The VHF antenna needed to be attached to the very top of the tower once the structure was secured (as there was concern it could be damaged in transit). Ken had purchased a climbing harness and fall arrester for this part of the job - a prudent decision as none of us are adept climbers, nor are we as young as we imagine. Ken did an amazing job and his bravery and stamina are to be commended. I admit to being very relieved when he was back on terra firma.

A stronger, longer lasting structure is now in place. Importantly, the VHF coverage is enhanced by the success of this project. It took a great deal of planning and a lot of effort on behalf of a few to see this project completed.

Many thanks to Helibiz for their support - we could not have done it without them. I’m extremely proud to be part of a team whose goal is to ensure the ongoing safety for our extensive boating community. Thanks also to the VMRW Tower Replacement Team: Ken B, Donna D, James R and Phil H.

Paul M.

Hello there, Whitsundays community! Time for a quick update on what's in store for VMR Whitsunday and the bigger picture...
28/10/2023

Hello there, Whitsundays community! Time for a quick update on what's in store for VMR Whitsunday and the bigger picture. 🚤

📅 REMIND ME AGAIN, WHAT'S HAPPENING? 🤔
As of July next year, VMR and Coastguard across Queensland will come together to form Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ). It's an exciting step towards a more integrated approach.

👥 A REMARKABLE VOLUNTEER EFFORT 🤲
The numbers are certainly worth getting your head around. Across the 2 organisations, 3,000 dedicated volunteers currently handle approximately 4,000 activations PER YEAR, providing essential services across 47 units statewide. It's a remarkable collective effort that touches communities far and wide.

🚨 PART OF A BIGGER PICTURE 🌏
But, it's not just about marine matters. This integration is part of the Disaster and Emergency Services Reform, which involves organizations like the SES, Rural Fire Service, and more. The plan is for a more coordinated and effective response to emergencies and disasters….and Queensland does experience more of these than any other state!

🤔 WILL THIS AFFECT YOU? ❓
Immediately? Not at all. It's 'business as usual' for VMR Whitsunday. We're not anticipating any major changes even as July approaches. However, we're here to keep you well-informed, so thank you for your ongoing support as we move forward together.
If you have any questions or hear any rumours, please let us know. We're here to serve our wonderful community! Stay tuned for more updates. 😊🌟👕

VIDEO:

Marine Rescue Queensland delivery team focus

HAVE YOU NOTICED SOMETHING HAPPENING AT THE VMR WHITSUNDAY BUILDING?After years of planning and getting finance approved...
26/10/2023

HAVE YOU NOTICED SOMETHING HAPPENING AT THE VMR WHITSUNDAY BUILDING?
After years of planning and getting finance approved, the day has finally come. This exciting to us with the extended first level being designed for multi-purpose use – for Search and Rescue operations, volunteer training and general purpose meeting space.

Today, the scaffolding has been erected around the building in readiness for partial demolition.

Local builder Ben Doolin Builders were selected for the project and next week the old roof comes off and the plan is to have the building watertight and to external lockup stage before Christmas.

The Whitsunday Marine Club will be closed until mid-March.

Activation 22/10/2023: Assist a broken-down vessel with propeller damage, southern end of Whitehaven beach.At 12.38 my p...
26/10/2023

Activation 22/10/2023: Assist a broken-down vessel with propeller damage, southern end of Whitehaven beach.

At 12.38 my phone rang, and Ray asked if I could help to take VMR2 for a vessel breakdown/rescue at Whitehaven Beach, "No Problem."

Crew assembled, just Craig and myself, Whale Song VMR2’s new covers removed, a confirmation call made & keys in the ignition, we finally headed off to Whitehaven Beach.

The broken-down vessel had been towed by a good Samaritan to the southern end of Whitehaven Beach, so we knew they were safe, enjoying beach life for the time being.

The crossing was beautiful and calm as we headed south of Whitsunday Island round to the beach. East South/East winds, 10 knots, an uneventful speedy transit arriving at 14.05.

As we approached the vessel a couple of comments were heard, commercial boats stating it was good to see VMR.

The vessel was not repairable as the nice stainless steel propellor had simply ‘vanished’. We attached the tow line after manoeuvring the vessel away from ‘beach life’ and started the journey back to Port of Airlie.

The boat was a 6.5m Striker half cuddy laden with fuel and water as well as all the necessary equipment. We distributed the weight by moving some of the passengers on to VMR2 and with some quick fuel calculations, a steady 7 knots pace was determined for the return journey.

The 4 hours return journey was calm and relaxing, like a sunset cruise, with lots of water and sunscreen. Our passengers were happy.

As we arrived at Port of Airlie, we rafted up again to allow the passengers to transfer back as we brought the vessel safely to the boat ramp (18.40).

We then moved back to CSM to re-fuel and back to our dock by 19.35. Paperwork was completed and after a thorough wash down and tidy up we headed home.

Many thanks Craig for a professional, easy, pleasant but lengthy activation.

Crew: Craig B.
Skipper: James R.

Activation 22/10/2023: Vessel breakdown vicinity of Bait ReefAfter an exceptionally busy morning of chores, particularly...
25/10/2023

Activation 22/10/2023: Vessel breakdown vicinity of Bait Reef

After an exceptionally busy morning of chores, particularly for a Sunday, a phone call from the Radio Room put paid to dreams of a relaxing lunch and a snooze. A vessel had broken down somewhere west of Bait Reef, to make matters worse, the vessel was adrift. A crew was quickly assembled and conditions were perfect. By midday we were underway on Coral Sea Marina VMR1, the crew settled into a familiar rhythm; lookouts, radio watch, radar, instrumentation checks and helm.

By 1345hrs we had located and secured the vessel, tow line attached and some paperwork completed, we commenced the return journey to Whisper Bay public boat ramp. Again the conditions were perfect. As we approached Pioneer Bay the south easterly winds picked up. The crew drew the assisted vessel in, secured it alongside VMR1 and we proceeded into the boat ramp. I extend my thanks to those boaters who gave way as we approached, permitting us an unchallenged access to the jetty. Those aboard the vessel were grateful for our assistance.

We returned to Coral Sea marina, refuelled and wash down. Paperwork completed, refuelled and vessel secure by 1655hrs.

My thanks to the crew: Ken B (Assistant skipper), Donna D (Senior crew) and Phil H (Communications). A job well done!
Skipper: Paul M

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Saving Lives in the Whitsundays

Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Whitsunday is a not-for-profit, volunteer organisation, and is part of VMR Queensland. The main objective is to save life at sea. Our operations base, training venue, radio base and social venue are located at the Whitsunday Marine Club in Altmann Avenue, Cannonvale Our rescue vessel is located at Abell Point Marina, with a berth offered free of charge by Abell Point Marina, our Platinum Sponsor.

VMR members are entitled to one FREE assist tow a year (limitations apply) and subsequent assist tows are then available at half price. It’s easy to join as a member and for boat owners, it’s cheap insurance!

Out of our general membership, we have about 50 active personnel who staff the radio base, fund-raise, crew our vessel, manage the organisation and every other necessary role. Our volunteers, come from all walks of life including commercial skippers, accountants, retirees, business owners, helicopter mechanics and much more. Join our diverse group of volunteers today and be part of this unique professional team.

For more information on VMR Whitsunday, download the VMR key facts sheet (PDF).