December, 2015


From the President’s Desk

On behalf of VMR Whitsunday, I would like to thank Tony Bell for the outstanding work he has done over the years in producing the Samson Post newsletter.  He brought it from a basic printed few sheets to a very professional publication. As well as this work, he also skippered VMR1 on numerous activations.

All his work has been much appreciated, and we are extremely sorry that he’s decided to step down from these roles.

Thank you again, Tony.

Congratulations are in order to Craig Verrall and Gary Nicol on being promoted to VMR Skippers (Unrestricted commercial) and are now on the call out list.

This is no mean feat as it requires extensive training, as well as documented hours of service.  Without our skippers, we would not be able to provide the service we do.

I would also like to congratulate Margo Merritt on accepting the role as Radio Room Coordinator.

Again, without our volunteers who are willing to put the time and effort into becoming trained for these important roles, we would not be able to supply the service we do.

Thank you all
Regards, Ray


To keep this page a reasonable length, we have activation reports on a separate page; click HERE or on the “Activations” tab above.

New Vessel Update

Work is progressing well on the new boat, as can be seen in the recent photos. Tom has been making regular visits to Noosa to sort out the many details that have to be decided as we get closer to a finished product – no date as yet, but delivery hopefully reasonably early in the new year.

Furuno has been chosen as the supplier for the new generation electronics, with 2 large 15.6” wide touch screens on the flybridge and another at the lower helm, all with remote controllers for use in heavy seas. The complete electronics suite will include amongst other things Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), Radio Direction Finder, digital radar and the ability to link through inbuilt WiFi with both Android and IOS (Apple) smart phones and tablets, although we will obviously need to set access protocols for safe operation.

Details of the main screens functions can be found in the Furuno Brochure

Mal Priday

New boat

In our dreams!  🙂

PS As mentioned previously, please be aware that the only persons who are permitted to inspect the new vessel while it is under construction is Tom Manning and Stephen Earp, the Marine Surveyor.

So if you are fortunate enough to be visiting Noosa, please do not visit the Noosa Cat facilities expecting to be shown around as an inspection will be refused.

Sponsors & SupportersRotary Logo

On Monday, October 19, Rotary Club Airlie beach officially handed us the $100,000 cheque to help pay for VMR1.2.

VMR Chq #2

This is a huge chunk of money towards us having a new and improved Rescue Boat- We thank you!

Remember, by advertising in the Rotary Phone Book, you help fund these much needed community resources!

Also see this article from the Whitsunday Times

 Local support for VMR Whitsunday’s new Rescue boat

 Macrossan & Amiet, local Whitsunday solicitors have come to our aid through the Macrossa & Amiet Charitable Foundation with a $2,000 donation, allocated to compulsory safety equipment. Our sincere thanks for their generous support again this year.

William accepting Cheque
William Kamsteeg accepts the grant cheque from Andrew Telford

The Foundation was established as a Charitable Trust in 1995 by the Partners of Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors.  The Foundation is registered as a charity and a deductible gift recipient and is administered by Independent Trustees. From an initial fund of $100,000.00 donated by Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors the Foundation has grown to hold capital of in excess of $1M.  To date the foundation has distributed in excess of $350,000.00 to local charities.

Collection Tins

Collection TinVMR Whitsunday would like to thank the many organisations for their continued support by placing our collection tin on their shop counter.

Thumbs upThis month we collected just one tin, from Subway (Terry Curtis and staff) but it was particularly heavy and contained $323.20!!

The money collected in these these tins makes a significant contribution to the operation of our rescue vessel VMR1 and our radio base. Many thanks also to the Whitsunday community who help to fill these tins.

And let’s not forget these organisations that help with sausages, bread rolls and prizes for the VMR Blues Days.
sponsor strip

Training News

To maintain a proficient team, training is ongoing, with crew members honing their skills every Thursday afternoon at 4.30, barring activations, usually on VMR1.

Recently, David Burge and Ray Lewis facilitated a marine radio course, five members participated and a couple have expressed interest in becoming radio room operators.

Also, two Queensland Ambulance Service officers, Leigh Anderson and Anthony Fletcher, demonstrated the use of our new defibrillator and also gave lessons on CPR. The defibrillator has been installed in VMR1 and Ray Lewis will give boat crew instructions on how to use it during the boat training program.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us.

A workshop for Unit Training Coordinators was held at VMR base with approximately twenty five persons from other VMR squadrons attending, including members from as far away as Thursday Island, Weipa, the Northern Zone and State Council members from Brisbane.

utc group

Geoff Fitzsimmons and I represented VMR Whitsunday.

The workshop, held on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 of November, discussed, among other things, the transition of the VMRAQ training package from state MSQ to national AMSA control, including future course options and the way UTCs will manage these in their respective squads.

Training was also given on the use of the VMRAQ Portal and Share Point.

Ray Lewis

Other news

Memorial Service

On October 25th a Memorial Plaque to 5 young sailors was unveiled. The memorial is on the Boardwalk pathway, opposite the Police Station and near VMR.

HMAS Sydney PlaqueThe memorial commemorates an incident that took place on 25th October 1963 where a Whaler from HMAS Sydney, which was anchored in Cid Harbour, set sail to round Hook Island and appears to have had a major problem in the vicinity of Pinnacle Point.

The swamped Whaler was found later, 72 miles north of Hook with 2 bodies wedged under the thwarts, one with a severe head wound. The three other crew were never found and the details of the incident are, and will remain, very uncertain.

Two of the crews’ families attended this sombre event along with many dignitaries and a large Navy contingent.

VMR were represented by Janet Pierce-Eldridge, Celia and myself.

Geoff Smith

PS More details of this tragedy can be found online

 Clubroom Surrounds Upgrade

We are pleased to advise that Whitsunday Regional Council are proceeding with upgrade works to the building surroundings and adjacent car park.

They are repairing the perimeter rock walls, regrading and (in some places) turfing the grassed areas, erecting a low safety fence adjacent to the southern wall and installing a fully bituminised and drained car park surface between the Marine Club building and the public toilet block.
vmr clubrooms works
Construction commenced on Monday, 23rd November and will take about 2 weeks, which means that you will not be able to park your car in the elevated car park adjacent to the Marine Club building during this period.

The radio room will open as normal and various meetings scheduled will not be changed.

Works usually finish by 6.00pm and there is no work on Sundays, so disruption will be minimal.
Please park on the lower level adjacent to the toilets, or if full, on Altmann Ave.

The disruption will be worthwhile, when the works are completed

Whisper Bay boat ramp progress report

Whitsunday Regional Council has advised that the Boat ramp is in final stages of construction and the Pontoon is now in place – both are within budget.

The Rock wall construction is well progressed but settlement at the western end due to soft marine mud is delaying progress. No environmental impacts have been caused by this delay or work.

Consultant engineers from Cardno Ullman and Nolan, (the project designer) have been consulted and are not concerned and consider settlement to be normal. Remedial works of topping up armour rock on the wave batter will be conducted in accordance with Cardno’s recommendation.
boat ramp update

Whilst the boat ramp and pontoon aspects of the project are substantially complete and are unaffected by the rock wall settlement, access to the boat ramp and car park is hampered by works on the causeway and breakwater.

Delay to the project and the completion date is uncertain, and a better estimate of project completion will be clearer as remedial work progresses.

Upgrade to Marine Club surroundings

We are pleased to advise that repairs to the rock wall and soil levels surrounding the Whitsunday Marine Club are being conducted in conjunction with the Council’s Boat Ramp project and will be finished soon. Carpark remediation and sealing will be conducted when the Boat Ramp is completed.

Social Events News

Monday, December 7, is the last meeting of the year and as usual we will spend very little time on formal business.  Also, the bar will be open with VMR shouting a few drinks and as always, partners are very welcome.

To give our willing cooking crew a break so they can enjoy themselves, please bring a plate of food, maybe some meat or a salad or something decadent for dessert.
Starting time is 6.30 pm

 Monthly Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month.


Starting at 6.15pm, after a BBQ and drinks from the bar, the monthly meeting is held at about 7pm, giving members the opportunity to meet other members and committee member, and a chance to discuss matters of interest.

The BBQ is only $3, and drinks are reasonably priced, so come along and have your say.

VMR Blues

guitar-640529_640Due to the ongoing works at the boat ramp and clubhouse, the VMR Blues sessions continue to be postponed until the work is complete.

At this stage, we hope to be able to host the next one on Sunday, February 7.

VMR Ball

Planning is underway to have a VMR Ball on Saturday, March 5.

Please put this date in your diary or note it on your calendar.

Members are encouraged to book tables of 10.

More details to come.

Marine Safety

Notices to mariners

Just a reminder that current notices to mariners for the Whitsunday area are available  from the Qld Govt Transport website

Well, that’s about it for this edition.

Look for the next Samson Post, maybe in time for Christmas.  🙂