From the President’s Desk
The new Management Committee had its first meeting early in the month and the new members were brought up to date on projects at hand and of other matters in discussion.
A few have been placed in charge of different areas such as Norm Fraser who will be looking into grants etc, taking over from Tom Manning who has been pursuing grants for the past few years.
Tom is continuing on with unfinished business and will pass on some of his knowledge and experience to Norm. One project that is being looked at is a removable awning for the Marine Club.
Stuart Applegate and Norbert Gross are part of a sub-committee to introduce more technology into our operation and Norbert has also taken over the role of Media Person from Mal Priday.
We have had a record number of activations during the school holidays and as a result VMR1 has accumulated a lot of hours and is overdue for a service but is going into Hawkes Boatyard for a service on Thursday 6th October.
Recently I inducted four new members as boat crew, but even with these added to the call out list, the 24/7 phone holders and the radio room operators continue to have difficulties raising a crew. So as usual, a small number of active members have carried the load.
The last Music Day held on Father’s Day was a beautiful fine day, so we had a good turn up. As this Sunday’s Music Day falls on the footy finals weekend, the theme is Football Finals so we hope those attending will be wearing their club’s colours. Come along for pre-game drinks and listen to the great music from Jenni, Jack and the other musicians.
On September 29, Dave Morris, Tom Manning and I attended the service at St Martin’s Church for National Police Remembrance Day. This was followed by refreshments at the Whitsunday Police Station, where I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Nathan Blain, among others.
On Saturday 8th October we will be holding a workshop at the Marine Club for the Unit Training Coordinators of the Northern Zone.
School holiday activations summary
VMR Whitsunday has an average of 6 or 7 activations and rescues a month. These include mechanical breakdowns, flat batteries, fuel outages, groundings, potential sinkings, boat fires, searching for missing people and medical evacuations.
School holidays are always a busy time on the water, particularly during September when Southerners escape from their cold, late winter into the perfect climate of the Whitsundays. But nothing prepared us for the onslaught of activations that started on the first day, when there were 5 activations. Sunday was almost as busy with 4 more and after 12 days we have now attended 22 call-outs! The weather was perfect, so most problems could have been avoided.
There were a few call-outs for members, but the most activations were for non-members – some of whom now have very expensive credit card bills.
We have been called out to some brave (foolhardy?) boaties with unreliable boats to the outer reef with 4 tows lasting over 5 hours. The longest was 9 ½ hours and by the time we delivered them to safety, VMR1 was running on fumes.
The messages to all boaties are to thoroughly test their motors before leaving inshore waters, avoid offshore or overnight travel with worn or out of date batteries and be aware of their fuel consumption (and fuel tank status).
During the first 11 days, we consumed over 6000 litres of fuel and the rescue boat has been in full operation for 65 working hours. Our small band of volunteers has been absolutely stretched, having given up over 250 man hours of their own free time, time they would have preferred spending with their families.
How far is too far?
Observations from our seasoned skippers are that more boaties are daring to travel further, but the distance we can reach does not change – VMR1, our rescue vessel has a finite range of service and we are most concerned by the “she’ll be right” attitudes of under-prepared boaties in general.
Sooner or later we will be forced to decline a call-out if it is beyond our range.
This is our fair weather zone – distances can be cut substantially by tides, winds and weather – and the size of your boat
Boat ramp signs
Part of our responsibility as a Search and Rescue organisation is to educate the boating public to take more care.
Over the next few weeks, with the help of the Men’s Shed, we will be erecting signs at the Whisper Bay (VMR), Abell Point, Point of Airlie, and Shute Harbour boat ramps.
Before you go out on the water, take a few minutes to read the signs and carry your own emergency check list.
Many thanks to Whitsunday Lions Club for sponsoring this community safety project.
Whitsunday Lions Airlie Beach
VMR Music Sunday
Glorious weather on Father’s Day meant a great attendance and yet another very successful VMR Music Day.
The next VMR MUSIC SUNDAY is as usual, on the first Sunday of the month which is 2nd October, from 2.00pm to 6.00pm.
This weekend is AFL and NRL Finals weekend, but fortunately the Music Day will not clash with either Grand Final.
So come along decked out in your favourite team colours to celebrate or commiserate the AFL Final, and to get the party started for the NRL Grand final.
For several years local bookkeeper and tax agent Julie Roberts has made a monthly donation to VMR.
Julie told us that for many years she had donated to large overseas aid agencies, but became aware that a large proportion of her money was spent on local administration and marketing and luxury airline travel for their executives.
Being a boatie at heart (and VMR member), Julie recognised that all donations to VMR Whitsunday are tax deductible and decided to donate to VMR, with the knowledge that her money would stay in the Whitsundays and not be wasted away. VMR has no paid employees and wherever possible, purchases are made locally.
Why not follow Julie’s expert knowledge and make a tax deductible donation to VMR Whitsunday. You can donate online HERE . No amount is too small and you will receive a tax receipt automatically by email.
Please support Julie for your accounting and tax requirements – phone 4946 5144
VMR Whitsunday would like to thank the many organisations for their continued support by placing our collection tin on their shop counter.
Special Thanks to Subway Airlie Beach
In the last 3 years, over $2200 has been collected by tins at Subway!!
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 goes to the Whitsunday community who help to fill these tins.
And let’s not forget those organisations that help with sausages, bread rolls and prizes for the VMR Music Days.
are held on the first Monday of each month.
The next meeting will be this Monday, October 3. Yes, it is a public holiday, but we will still be there! 🙂
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 members, 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.
Training continues (almost) every Thursday at 4.30pm for our active boat crew members.
This coming Thursday October 6th, we restart the cycle with Module 1, on the boat in Hawkes Boatyard.
Continual training is key to the crews’ competence to deal with any situation we may come across during an activation.
Geoff, Ray and our other trainers are highly experienced and we are grateful that they are willing to give up their time to ensure VMR Whitsunday has the best, most professional crew possible.
If you would like to get involved and volunteer (which will undoubtedly improve your own skills) our contact details are on our website.
In the words of VMRW Elder Statesman Tom Manning,
“It is better to know a knot & not need it, than to need a knot & not know it”
Notices to mariners
No new notices to mariners for the local region over the last month.
Details of all notices are available at the Qld Govt Transport website
And to finish:
A reminder to those who have a trailer boat with one of those funny sticks on which rags are hung Link to US newspaper article
Not all hazards are out on the water!
“Look up and Live!”
Link to latest Activations reports.