November 16

Proudly supported by sponsors

RayFrom the President’s Desk

The run of activations continued on from last month.  In the last 6 weeks, we have had 36 activations accumulating 107 hours on VMR1 so once again on behalf of the management committee, I would like to thank all who participated.

A few of the activations brought to light some of the issues that are happening out there and there is an article later in the Samson Post giving more details.

VMR1 finally made it in to Hawkes Boat Yard so that Whitsunday Yahama Marine could carry out an overdue 1000 hour service and we were back in the water before the weekend without being required for assistance.

We have had issues with the starboard fly bridge VHF radio so Kenny from AB Electronics has replaced it.

We had great weather for our last Sunday music day with a reasonable turn up considering it was the football Grand Final weekend.

Santos, who is one of the founding members of the Sunday music day, arrived to entertain us with a long bracket of songs and guitar playing.  Santos had a heart attack a few years ago and it is great to see him well and back on stage.

Ray Lewis

Fish D’vine Renews Its Sponsorship For Another Year

fish dvine and rum bar.JPGThanks to Kevin Collins and Rebecca Clark, Fish D’vine and Rum Bar have renewed their sponsorship with VMR Whitsunday for another year.

We are thankful for their active support and advice during the last year and look forward to continuing our close association as a Silver Sponsor for another year.

Kevin Collins commented  “As a business which enjoys a lot of local support, we, in turn, feel an absolute duty and obligation to give back and are at times overwhelmed by the volume of sponsorship requests we get.

“We have made a conscious decision to continue our community support funding to the tune of $30,000 a year, across a range of events and organisations, including this year the SICYC, Ronald McDonald House, Clipper World  Cup, Reef Festival and  the Whitsunday Music Festival.

“We see our VMR sponsorship as one which will be long term and a great connect between our businesses, being so reliant on the sea and the VMR being the guardian angel of every mariner in the Whitsundays.  VMR is an outstanding organisation and one we are very proud to support and hope our business continues to be in a financial position to do so for many years into the future.”

VMR President, Ray Lewis, commented “Fish D’vine has been an excellent partner to our business over the past year and we very much appreciate their ongoing support for the Whitsundays community and VMR Whitsunday.”

Combined, they are an award winning seafood restaurant and rum bar, famous for their relaxed atmosphere and simply d’vine food.

Fish D’vine and Rum Bar are sometimes seen as separate identities under the same roof. Their famous local chilli mud crab with a Hemmingway Daiquiri or barbequed tiger prawns with a Mojito quickly dispenses this myth!  You certainly can’t miss the Rum wall, but you definitely can’t walk past the local seafood on display either.

AND DON’T FORGET D’vine Catering and Events for your next important event – catering on all of Cruise Whitsunday boats, as well as catering to weddings, private vessels, super yachts, private aircraft and off shore catering events.

D’vine Catering has become THE events specialist within the region of Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday’s through providing excellent customer service and the quality of their product.

Book your Christmas function now.


303 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach

Phone (07) 4948 0088

Check out their locally sourced seafood menu of barramundi and platters HERE and a list of some of their 450 types of rum HERE, all served in a pleasant casual environment.

tripa-advisor-logoTrip Advisor Reviews

South Molle Jetty at Shute Harbour to be Closed

Whitsunday Regional Council has just announced that, due to serious safety concerns about the condition of the South Molle Jetty at Shute Harbour, it will be closed to the public as of November 17.

WRC report HERE and a Whitsunday Times article from August 10, 2016 HERE

Safety in a Tinny

In one of our activations this month we were confronted by a driverless tinny doing donuts after the two crew had been thrown into the water in mirror-like calm seas.  (see the full account in the Activations section).

How can this happen?

Perfect boating conditions had lulled them into a false sense of security that they threw all the basic rules overboard:

The vessel was at high speed, with the tiller-mounted throttle locked on full speed.  Why not? – smiley-shrugthere was hardly a bump on the ocean!!!

Then came the seemingly gentle delayed wash from a passing large vessel and being off guard, they were both thrown overboard.


When a tiller style outboard handle is let go, the propeller torque will cause the motor to immediately swing to full steering lock, forcing the boat to turn in a tight circle. If the engine throttle is locked on, the boat will continue to turn in its self-created high powered whirlpool.  This whirlpool or vortex does not have regular water density as the propeller will usually encounter its own aerated water and temporarily cavitate.  When it clears the aerated water the propeller “bites” and it can move quickly out the vortex before starting a new one.

The two men were very lucky that the automatic reaction from their own boat did not run them down.

Good seamanship says:

NEVER relax your concentration, regardless of how smooth the water is

NEVER lock your throttle on

ALWAYS keep the throttle safety cord attached to your wrist or belt – if you fall off, the cord will detach a clip from the throttle mechanism and your motor will stop

WEAR your life jacket

The same rules apply to all boats, but in an open tinny you have nothing around you to stop you going overboard.

Stay away from out of control boats – they can be unpredictable!

Check Your Life Jackets (aka PFD’s)!!

Recently at a VMR Zone meeting,  VMR Burdekin reported that a member had unpacked his unused PFD1 life jackets to find that the straps had perished.  They had been stored in the dark in original plastic bags and the straps disintegrated in his fingers.pfd straps.png

Then recently, Ray was skippering on an activation and reported: “I invited the lady to bring the toddler on board VMR1 for the trip back to the VMR boat ramp as there was a little chop on the water.   The people had only bought the boat three weeks before and I asked the lady to put on her life jacket.  As she did so, the strap on the life jacket just snapped as it had deteriorated.”ray with dodgy pfd.jpg

There have also been reports of problems with inflatable life jackets which burst their seams on activation from the connected gas cylinders from over-pressure in the vest.  A test inflation with a pump apparently does not simulate activation pressure.

These matters have been referred to MSQ and AMSA, who are working with the Office of Fair Trading.

Please check your life jackets – both solid foam PFD1 and inflatable jackets  – particularly the strength of the straps.

With inflatable jackets DO NOT INFLATE WITH THE MOUTHPIECE before activating the gas inflation.

A good way to check the condition of your life jackets is to WEAR THEM WHENEVER YOU CAN!!

Thanks to Slinkylinks for VMR Website Assistance

slinkylinksSeveral years ago, VMR had issues with its website and fortunately, Jade Korosec  (from Slinkylinks) stepped in, volunteered her services and created the website that serves VMR Whitsunday today.

Jade has also contributed her services with upgrades, hosting and functionality changes as our size has grown and needs have changed.

Please support Jade with your website requirements. You can contact Slinkylinks  for website development, logo design and branding and online marketing at, or contact her on 0405 229 892.

VMR Active Members Visit Wilmar Proserpine Sugar Mill

Ron McCall (Active VMR Senior Crew member) generously offered a personally guided tour of the Wilmar Proserpine Sugar mill which was gratefully taken up by a few VMR Active members.

We assembled in the carpark and whilst Ron gave us a safety briefing we donned our hard hats, eye and hearing protection and over a period of two hours followed the process flow, starting with the automated tipping of railway bins.

He quickly made us aware of the importance of every drop of juice and skerrick of leaf fibre.  We followed the fibre process first and were impressed that nothing is wasted, with fine leaf and stalk fibres used as boiler fuel to create steam which is used in the process, as well as generating electric power to operate the plant.  The plant also sells some surplus power back to the Ergon grid.

sugar mill tour.jpg

(from left) Ron McCall, Craig Verrall, Greg Walker and Roger Wodson

Mill tour participants discuss the computer and video controls with a Wilmar staff member in one of the impressive control rooms of the mill.

We also followed the juice flow from sticky, muddy cane juice through to “treacle”, to the formation of granulated sugar.  Even the residual mud is not wasted and is sold back to growers as a nutrient.

Thanks Ron, for giving up your time. We now appreciate how important the Wilmar Sugar Mill is to the local economy. With automation, the numbers directly employed in the mill are a small, but supports the large surrounding population.prossie-millWilmar Sugar has generously supported VMR Whitsunday with contributions for components of our new rescue vessel.  Active members Ron McCall, Wendy Davidson and Michael Griggs are employed by Wilmar Sugar during “the season”.

Depend on Davey Pumps

With our new rescue vessel nearing completion we are delighted that Davey Pumps have come to the fore by donating a Davey Poly pump with Honda engine as a portable auxiliary pump.

davey pump.JPG

An engine driven pump is an important component of a rescue vessel as it can be physically transferred to sinking or leaking vessels as a dewatering pump, or as a standby pump to assist with spraying water on other vessels (but we keep well clear of burning boats due to the risk of explosion from fuel tanks or gas bottles).

Our charter is to save lives, not boats.

Macrossan & Amiet Charitable Foundation

m and a with will.jpg
On a related note, Macrossan and Amiet have again supported VMR Whitsunday with a donation for equipment for our rescue vessel.
In this case, the funds will be used for a specialised nozzle for our standby pump to allow a curtain of water be established to aid in the evacuation of a vessel in case of fire.

VMR Music Sunday

We are having a day off this month so that we do not clash with the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, but we will be back on the first Sunday of December.  Bring along your friends for an early Christmas celebration – kicking back by the Coral Sea.

santo playing.jpg

If you weren’t there last month, you missed a classic – Santos turned up unannounced and played a bracket of old favourites.

VMR Music Sunday organiser, Jenni Wasson, said “it was Santos who started the VMR Music tradition and it was great to see him in action again.”

gale and gay.jpg

Untiring VMR stalwarts Gale Winter (Whitsunday Marine Club Manager) (left), and hard working VMR Active Member Gay Bowden take a well earned break.



No Parking problems and free entry at VMR MUSIC SUNDAYS

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.
This month, tins were collected from McDonalds Cannonvale and Magnums Airlie Beach.

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.

new barbie logo strip.png

Monthly Meetings

are held on the first Monday of each month.


The next meeting will be this Monday, November 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 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.

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:

We sure hope we never have a marine incident like the sinking of this car carrier ship, MV Baltic Ace,  near the coast of Holland in 2012.  It would cause a huge environmental impact on our reef.


However, this 6 minute long video is interesting as it explains how the salvagers managed to cut up the wreck under water and get the pieces up and out of the shipping channel.

I seriously doubt we have the expertise, equipment or team here in Australia to attempt anything like this!!

Link to latest Activations reports.

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