From the President’s Desk
It has been a quiet month with only one tow activation recorded in the log book so far this month.
On the maintenance side, VMR1 was taken out of the water for engine servicing and had the starboard side steering cylinder replaced. One of our cockpit VHF radios has been returned from Icom and refitted. See more below.
On April 10, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Qld Police held a workshop at the Shingly Beach Resort covering a range of topics regarding state disasters and search and rescue. A large number of persons attended from a number of VMR squadrons, State Emergency Services and others.
Amongst other things, it was interesting to learn how search and rescues are set in motion, how different agencies work with each other, and how previous data and software is used to determine search areas.
Another AMSA workshop will be held on the 28th May covering towing and the local water police are meeting to plan our next SAREX on the 4th June.
I am having difficulty organising a first aid course at the moment as things have changed with VMRAQ, so there will be some costs incurred. The management committee will come to some arrangement.
I inducted three new members this week with a couple indicating they would like to volunteer as radio room operators. I plan to hold another marine radio course in the near future to accommodate them.
Another new member has Master V, MED 2 & Coxswain certificates and wants to be a crew member.
David Burge, currently volunteering as a radio room operator, has a Coxswain’s Certificate, and is also becoming a crew member.
I will be away for the resumption of the VMR music day this Sunday 1st May, but I know it will be a great debut. Many thanks to Jenni Wasson for getting this back up and running, so please come along and support us. More below.
On April 17, I attended a presentation by Rotary Airlie Beach for their “My Whitsunday” phone book and website. Allan Robinson from All Marine Services selected VMR Whitsundays to be his benefactor and Allan presented me with a cheque for $540. Thank you, Allan, for choosing the VMR.
The big one coming up is the Friday 13th Fun Fundraiser Black and White night at the Marine Club. Tickets are only $55 and there are some great auction items as well as raffle and door prizes, so I hope to see you there.
Time running out to secure VMR Fun Fundraiser tickets
VMR Whitsunday’s important fundraiser is getting closer, and will be held on Black Friday 13th May from 7:00pm till late at the VMR Clubrooms.
Auctions, raffles and lucky door prizes totaling over $15,000 will be on offer. Items include 2 night’s accommodation at island resorts (with transfers), scenic flights, bareboat charters and boat cruises.
This will be a fun event, with a black and white theme. Tickets include champagne on arrival and two complimentary glasses of wine. Canapés will be catered by Fish D’vine and music will be by the popular group Cadillac.
Don’t leave your tickets until the last minute or you may miss out – sales will close a few days earlier to allow us to give final number to our caterers. Numbers are limited!
Put Friday 13th of May into your calendar, come and have a great time while you help VMR raise funds so its volunteers can keep doing what they do best – saving lives at sea. This is a great cause and your support is invaluable.
Tickets are just $55 and are available in Airlie Beach from Airllywood, near Woolworths, and from Whitsunday Bookings, near Mama Africa’s
Thanks to Hawkes Boatyard
Our new rescue vessel will be here soon but our current trusty Rescue boat, VMR1, still has a lot of work to do and is always maintained in readiness for activation at any time – without notice it could be needed for a simple breakdown and tow job in Pioneer Bay or it could be out on the reef beyond the shipping lanes, at night in rough weather.
We never know what or where our next task will be, so under Volunteer Skipper Gary Nicol’s supervision, every function is regularly checked and maintained.
In addition, every time VMR1 is activated, a comprehensive check list is performed to ensure full functionality of electronics, communications, outboard motors, steering etc, before it leaves its berth at Abell Point. We cannot take any short cuts on the only deep sea dedicated rescue boat in the Whitsundays – if VMR1 breaks down, who is going to rescue us or handle the activation we are on?
This month our twin 250hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboards were due for service, which requires the vessel to be lifted out of the water.
So we booked the Yamaha dealer and at Hawkes Boatyard the vessel was lifted out and the service was performed in their slings.
We appreciate our long association with Hawkes who generously donate their lifting service to VMR for services and repairs and hope VMR Members will recognize their community spirit and choose Hawkes when they need boatyard services.
Special thanks to Craig O’Sullivan (0413 620 907) for arranging availability for this service.
Thanks to Cannonvale Fire Protection Service
Our six monthly inspection of our fire extinguishers on VMR1 was due, so we called our friends at CFPS. The inspection was speedily completed and Nigel kindly donated his services.
It is gratifying that the Whitsunday community recognizes VMR’s contribution to water safety. Thanks Nigel.
VMR members are asked to support local organisations who help VMR with donated or discounted items.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa joins with VMR Whitsunday as a Silver sponsor
Welcome to Daydream Island as our latest Silver sponsor
We are proud to announce that Daydream Island and Spa has recognized VMR Whitsunday’s regular visits to the island on Medical Evacuations and rescuing guests and boaties from its idyllic surrounding waters.
More details to follow.
VMR Music Sundays are Back!!
This Sunday, May 1, sees the return of the much missed VMR Music Sundays with a fresh new format with the generous guidance of local music industry identity, Jenni Wasson.
These music Sundays will give local talented musicians to step up and strut their stuff as part of “Clipboard Concerts”.
Places are limited and local musicians must register with Jenni on the ‘clipboard’ before, or on the day. The emphasis is on fun.
The music kicks off at 2 pm and will got through to 6 pm.
In addition to the music and barbecue, there will be raffles with very good prizes, with all proceeds to VMR to assist with running costs for the only ocean-going Rescue boat in the Whitsundays.
The venue has always been the best location to have a lazy afternoon, kicking back to music by the Coral Sea and it has now been substantially improved, with sealed carparks (with free car parking) and a re-laid extended grassed area.
Come along and have an enjoyable arvo.
New Rescue Vessel Donations
$15,000 to boost VMR’s service to boaties
The capabilities of the volunteer marine rescue service in the Whitsundays have been given a big boost thanks to more than $15,000 in funding under the Liberal National Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen met with the group to share the good news.
“I was keen to endorse the application by VMR Whitsunday for funding under the Stronger Communities Programme because this will allow the crew to purchase some of the equipment they need for their new rescue vessel,” Mr Christensen said.
“VMR Whitsunday provides a vital service in what is a popular and busy boating and sailing region and I’m more than happy to do whatever I can to support them in their endeavours to better serve their community.
“The group operates 24/7 and is on standby to assist ambulance, SES, Fire & Rescue, Water Police and Whitsunday Police day or night regardless of the weather conditions.
“It’s also worth noting that VMR Whitsunday is manned by volunteers who donate their time and skills for this very worthy endeavour.”
$15,189 in funding will be used by the group to purchase mandatory safety equipment such as a safety flotation device to house flares and EPIRB, as well as other equipment such as an outboard, fenders and a de-humidifier to protect electronic gear by removing moisture from the air.
VMR Whitsunday committee member Tom Manning said the grant was a welcome boost to the group’s fundraising efforts.
“This allows us to tick off some more of the components needed to get our new rescue vessel completed and operational so we are now that much closer to our end goal,” Mr Manning said.
(Ed note: this was first published on George Christensen’s blog in March, but we did not receive it in time for the April Samson Post)
Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) Camera donated by CYSA SOLAS Trust
On behalf of VMR Whitsundays, Tom Manning accepts the FLIR camera from Shane Beardmore (of FURUNO).
The camera was paid for with funds provided by the CYCA SOLAS Trust.
As the name suggests, these cameras work by sensing heat from objects and displaying this on a screen. They are extremely sensitive and can detect very low differences in temperatures. More info here and here.
While these cameras can be used for navigation, for example among ice floes, here in the Whitsundays we would find it extremely useful in locating people in the water, especially at night.
It will be a valuable piece of kit on our new rescue vessel.
Once again our sincerest thanks to the CYCA SOLAS committee for this generous donation.
Coffee Machine from Big W
With activations occurring at any time of day or night, there are times crews arrive at the boat having just been dragged out of bed, not having had time to grab a cuppa, especially before any cafés open.
So consideration was given to having a means to make a hot drink on board the new rescue boats. Dismissing ideas such as electric kettles or heating things in the microwave (consider a litre of boiling water being swung around in heavy seas ) the solution was one of those “George Clooney” espresso coffee machines.
Big W Cannonvale came to the party with a substantial discount on one of these machines for us.
Many thanks to Tina and manager Amanda for helping the VMR once again.
And, no, there is no truth to the rumour the Geoff has to add Barista Training to our training schedule!
Council donates $1422 to Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue
Whitsunday Regional Council has today approved a $1422 donation to the Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) for the purchase of a tablet and printer for use on board their new rescue vessel.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said he is pleased to support VMR Whitsunday whose dedicated volunteers do a fantastic job responding to vessels in distress in the Whitsundays.
“The Whitsunday VMR is seeking a computer and printer on board their new rescue vessel which is currently under construction at a cost exceeding $860,000,” Cr Willcox said.
“Changes implemented through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the National Standard for Commercial Vessels require comprehensive records be kept on board all commercial vessels and having up-to-date technology will assist the volunteers with this process, saving time and valuable resources,” he said.
“Council encourages volunteerism and participation in our community, particularly those that provide essential services such as the VMR so it’s important that Council provides support where it can.”
VMR Whitsunday would like to thank the many organisations for their continued support by placing our collection tin on their shop counter.
This month we collected just the one tin from IGA Airlie Beach, who also generously help us with items for our bbq fund raisers.
The money collected in 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 Music Days.
Monthly Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month.
The next meeting will be this Monday, May 2.
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.
Notices to mariners
Two more Notice to Mariners added in April for the local area, one about maintenance on the low rocks cardinal marks at Shute Harbour and one about the dredging in Abell Point Marina.
Details are available at the Qld Govt Transport website