March 2016

From the President’s Desk


It has been a very busy month “behind the scenes”.

VMR regional events

In early February we had three VMR regional events on one weekend, starting on Friday evening with a quarterly Northern Zone meeting where we discussed an upcoming SAREX (search and rescue exercise) to be held soon in conjunction with Hamilton Island.

On Saturday, Mick Bishop from AMSA Townsville held a workshop explaining the requirements for a Safety Management System which was very informative for us as we are preparing an SMS for our new vessel. Michaela Moss (VMR Life member and AMSA representative) and John (Dick) Emery from MSQ also addressed the gathering of 38 persons comprising VMR squadrons from a vast area.

Andy Ross from Marine Rescue Queensland headquarters facilitated a Language Literacy and Numeracy module to update VMR Trainers and Assessors.

Playing Politics

On February 15th, Tom Manning and I were invited by Mr George Christensen MP, Federal Member for Dawson, to attend afternoon tea in Mackay with the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister, and the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Deputy Prime Minister.

pms visit mackayWhile there, we were able to catch up with some other invited guests, including Cr Jennifer Whitney, Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council, and representatives from VMR Mackay.  And Tom even managed to wrangle a photo opportunity with the Federal MP’s!  🙂

Then we drove back to Airlie Beach to attend the……

 Off-boat all crew muster

On the evening of February 15th, the informal “muster” of active crew members facilitated by Craig Verral was held in the VMR club rooms. It was attended by approx 20 active members who had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with new equipment on VMR1, understand legal requirements for on-boat documentation and a refresher on defibrillater use, before retiring to the bar for ongoing discussions
Thanks Craig for organising the “muster”, which may become a quarterly event.


In addition to above, a MARN002/2 Refuelling module was completed by 7 members and I started a Marine radio course last week, which included some of the six new active members that I have inducted this month.

Geoff Smith continued the on-boat training program for active members. All Active members are encouraged to attend the skills training series, every Thursday at 4.30 pm on VMR1.

The annual refresher course on Senior First Aid and CPR for Active Members is due to be held soon (date to be advised).

Regards, Ray

The VMR Tropicana Ball is this Saturday!

tropicana ball

Have you got your tickets??

The new surroundings at the Marine Club have been completed and look magnificent!  The marquee will be up, the food is on order, we have a number of exciting raffle and auction prizes and the band is itching to go ….. all we need is for you to get your tickets!

Come and help VMR raise funds for its vital service to the Whitsundays.

shirt skirt

There will be great music from a local group, and a fabulous buffet dinner. Each table of 10 will receive 2 bottles of wine.

Dress is Airlie tropical casual (flowered shirts and swaying skirts).
We will have on offer a wide range of raffle prizes and auction items from many of our local supporters, including Charter Boats, Island Holidays and Restaurants to name a few.

Tickets are $75 per person and are available from;

• WHITSUNDAY BOOKINGS, 5/263 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach, (near Mama Africa’s)
• AIRLYWOOD, Whitsunday Village, 370 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach (near Woolworths)

Your ticket can be used for a $2 bus ride to the ball on Whitsunday Transit regular service, and a free return to your nearest bus stop or resort at the end of the evening, at 10:30pm and midnight.

Don’t delay, get your tickets now to secure a table, come along and join in the fun, while helping VMR Whitsunday raise funds to allow us to keep doing what we do best – saving lives at sea.

Disposing of out of date flares and emergency beacons 

Whitsunday Regional Council is encouraging residents in the Whitsunday Region to use appropriate methods of discarding old or unwanted flares and emergency beacons.
flareMayor Jenny Whitney said that flares and emergency beacons should be presented to staff at Council’s landfills and transfer stations for appropriate disposal. “During the hot summer months, there is an increased risk of flares combusting in general waste bins and in the landfills,” Mayor Whitney said.
“Likewise, emergency beacons need to be disabled to avoid inadvertently activating a signal in a compactor truck or during the compacting process at the landfill,” she said.
epirb“Every year, thousands of dollars are spent searching for beacons in landfills making valuable emergency resources unavailable for real emergencies and putting lives at risk.  All we ask is that residents present their old or unwanted equipment to staff at the landfills and transfer stations and they will be only too pleased to ensure that it is disposed of safely.”
Note that out of date flares are considered explosives and must be disposed of safely as soon as possible.

Upgraded Whitsunday Marine Club is open for business

The Whitsunday Marine Club (known around town as “The VMR building”) external remake is completed at last!!!
For 5 painful and disruptive months the heavy construction equipment, noise, dust and lack of access have all but closed the Marine Club availability.
The long wait has been worthwhile, the exterior surrounds have been rebuilt with a reconstructed rock wall and new turf, as well as concrete pathways, a safety fence and a fully sealed carpark all ready to be tested this Saturday by the VMR Tropicana Ball. The new Solar Power installation is up and running.
drone view 1
Our thanks again to Whitsunday Regional Council for their generous assistance and Green Energy for arranging a grant subsidy on the solar power system.
drone view 2
The rebuilding of the site has provided a larger usable area, increasing capacity for what is already the best function location in the Whitsundays.
The official opening of the Whisper Bay Breakwater and Boat Ramp will be Friday, March 4.

Music Sundays Are Coming Back!treble clef.png

The Whisper Bay boat ramp is finished at last and in the meantime “The VMR” at Whitsunday Marine Club has been upgraded and we are open for business again.

VMR MUSIC SUNDAYS are back to where they started – on the first Sunday of each month kicking back by the Coral Sea at the best spot in Airlie.

Come along to the first event on Sunday April 3rd.

Live bands or artists will perform from 2pm to 6 pm with a full open bar and barbecue AND free car parking in a fully sealed car park!!

Impromptu CLIPBOARD CONCERTS will include local musos – who must register on the clip board before, or on the day to perform in a fun show – featuring a variety of music genres. There are limited places available.

We have plenty of raffle prizes and all proceeds go to VMR.

Come and help VMR raise funds for its vital service to the Whitsundays

Please Note that the function at The VMR this Sunday, March 6th is totally in aid of the passengers in the recent bus accident.   VMR will not benefit in any way.

All enquiries to Jenni on 0410 745 865

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


The next meeting will be this Monday, March 7.

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.

Marine Safety

Just a reminder of how things can go horribly wrong very, very quickly, this is a very recent posting from the Trailer Sailer Forum

It starts like this:

“Hi guys,

I’m sure we have all participated in the ‘Zero Harm’ workshops, toolbox safety training sessions etc. at work.

As the experts say it’s when the “holes in the Swiss cheese” all line up at the same time we have a near miss, injury or death.

I thought I’d publish this story as a learning exercise.

On the weekend past we were sailing down Lake King on the Gippsland Lakes. 4 on board, light condition, about 10knts, slight waves, clear skies. My mate’s hat blew off and into the water.

It was a nice Akubra hat, and worthy of saving, they can tell a lot of stories you know!”

Read the rest of the story and replies here

Fortunately, this time it didn’t end in tragedy.

Thank you, Mark, for giving me permission to post this here.

And while we are surfing the net (when was the last time you heard that term?  I must be showing my age!) here is another interesting article with a different viewpoint of “risk takers” and the role of rescue services.

“There is a story all over the news about two America sailors who have called rescue services for help nine times in the last seven months. It’s an interesting story and one that at first glance seems to call for some derision toward the two men. But not me. I have a very different opinion, as you might expect.”

More here

Thank you, Geoff Smith, our trainer extraordinaire, for sending this one through. 🙂

Notices to mariners

One more Notice to Mariners added in February, this one about a sunken vessel at Nunga Island, south eastern end of Solway Passage.

Details are available at the Qld Govt Transport website

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