From the President’s Desk
Activations for November have returned to near our average with eight, comprising of the usual mix of medivacs, tows and jump starts. As usual, details in the Activations page.
Even with the huge workload over the last couple of months, our trusty VMR1 continues to perform well and there were no maintenance issues for the month.
Recently we ran a request on Facebook for more radio room operators and had several inquires, resulting in two ladies joining us on the roster sheet. This was an easy transition as they had their LROCP certificate and a yachting background, so they were already familiar with the protocol required.
I ran another LROCP course and three more people have successfully completed it, so we are looking forward to them also joining our radio room crew.
A couple of our members who are involved in the Men’s Shed with the aid of others in the club have erected the new VMRW signs at four of our boat ramps after Roger and I had removed the two old signs. Further details below.
As Christmas is approaching quickly, the VMR Christmas Gift Membership is back and for only $45 (Pensioners $30), you can fix your gift problem for the one you worry about when they take the boat out.
Regards, Ray Lewis
How much is this gonna cost? Really!!
But you guys are volunteers, aren’t you??
We often get these kinds of comments and it again came up in one of our activations this month.
The skipper, who had let his VMRW membership lapse, advised our 24 hour phone holder that he was “out front of the Port of Airlie, Muddy Bay”- which extends from Port of Airlie and Jubilee Pocket, to Mandalay Point.
With a 25 knot wind blowing and VMR1 already looking for him in Muddy Bay, he again contacted our phone holder, who then recommended the crew look further out, as the skipper had commented that they could still see Airlie Beach. He was obviously NOT in Muddy Bay, so we headed north towards Pioneer Rocks and eventually spotted the vessel 1 mile west of Pioneer Rocks.
The lesson here is that if you need VMR assistance, you need to give us your accurate location, as time ticks on during the search and worst case can be the difference between rescue and catastrophe.
We often get stricken vessels advising us of their GPS co-ordinates which have been based on the cursor on their navigation screen. Sometimes the cursor position is not where they are, so please make sure that you move the cursor to where you actually are before advising GPS co-ordinates.
Back to our activation – the day got worse for the assisted skipper. We made quick time back to his chosen safe haven at Abell Point Marina boat ramp but could not drop him there immediately as there was a plastic boat tied to the pontoon. This took more time to remove the obstruction.
The actual tow was less than half an hour, but with time included to proceed from our pen to Muddy Bay and then search unnecessarily, and then the delay in access to the APM boat ramp, refuel and back to the pen, the clock had ticked to 85 minutes and the assisted skipper was not happy with the resulting charge of $450 ($310 per hour).
Note that VMR charges start from the time that we leave our pen with a crew on board and full fuel tanks, until refueled and back in our pen.
And while the crew are indeed volunteers and not paid, the fuel used is not free! In fact, almost half our operating expenses are for fuel, the rest being taken up with maintenance, equipment, depreciation, etc, etc, just like any other “business”, except that our charges are “not for profit.”
So unfortunately, VMRW services are not and cannot be offered for free. However, please consider just how much your boat or even your life is worth!
By purchasing membership for just $70 per year, you are entitled to one free rescue (up to 8 hours) per membership year.
Had the skipper in this activation renewed his membership, he would not have been hit with this expense!
Our good friends at Rotary Airlie Beach are holding their annual Carols by the Beach this Sunday evening.
They are also supporting the Salvation Army’s Christmas Cheer Hamper Appeal.
Donated items can be dropped off at Fausts IGA in Proserpine, or at the Salvo’s Cannonvale Store at 4/19 William Murray Drive, just off Shute Harbour Rd.
VMR Midge Point
VMR Midge Point has invited us and everyone to the first VMR Midge Point Emergency Services & Community Fun Day.
Come along and support our fellow VMR squadron.
Beef & Reef??
What does high quality beef raising have to do with VMR?
Well, one of our members, Jeff Hodgkinson, from Clermont, was proud to win a $500 prize at the 2016 Clermont Beef Expo and as such was entitled to nominate his preferred charity for a donation.
Jeff very generously decided to donate his $500 prize to VMR Whitsunday.
Thank you, Jeff, it is very much appreciated.
New Boat Ramp Signs
As reported in the October Samson Post, VMR Whitsunday had decided to replace the damaged and fading signs at the Whisper Bay and Abell Point Marina boat ramps, and erect signs at the Port of Airlie and Shute Harbour boat ramps for the first time.
Mens Shed Airlie Beach installed the signs, which is a good fit as a number of VMR members are also members of the Mens Shed.
The Whitsunday Times even had an article about it! 🙂
And while we are talking about the great work the Mens Shed does, they were recently commissioned to make some belaying pins for SV Solway Lass.
The pins are turned from top grade hardwood, and there are some extras for sale; only $20 each.
So if you need to secure your lines, fight off marauding pirates from your tall ship, 😀 or just a unique marine Christmas gift, contact Bob on 0409 312 233
Thanks to Kevin Fogarty (Whitsunday Industrial Sewing)
Last month VMRW had a long list of activations. Before the weather changed to Whitsunday perfect, we had a rough trip to the reef, which resulted in the flybridge bimini being torn.
Suddenly, we were very busy and needed to get it fixed quickly, so we took it around to Kevin, who specialises in upholstery and marine trimming. The zippers required replacing and reinforcing stitching to the canvas to cover the tears and Kev fixed it all on the spot.
Problem solved! 🙂
Thanks Kev, for donating your services.
Please support Kevin with your quality upholstery service for marine trimming, motor trimming, covers, awnings, blinds, shade sail and structure requirements.
VMR Music Sunday is BACK!!
After a short recess due to the Airlie Music Festival in early November, we are back for a special Christmas party event, and everyone is invited.
Organizer Jenni says that there will be Christmas decorations up to make it feel Christmasy, and it will be a good event for those who have no Christmas party booked or for those without family in the area.
“It’s a fantastic place to have a Christmas party overlooking the Coral Sea and the music is already organised,” she says.
Bring along your family and friends for an early Christmas celebration – then you can party on afterwards at the Rotary Christmas Carols on the Airlie foreshore.
No Parking problems and free entry at VMR MUSIC SUNDAYS
VMR 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 Montes Resort, the Dingo Beach Pub and Shop, and closer to home, McDonalds Cannonvale and the Reef Gateway Hotel, for total of $420!
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, December 5. This month we will focus on socialising ahead of Christmas, so there will be no meeting/information session.
And to give our tireless BBQ workers a break, there will also be no BBQ.
To ensure the hungry hordes are fed, everyone is asked to please bring a plate to share.
See you there!!
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
Shift change at a French lighthouse
Here is a 2 minute video showing how to do it when you can’t dock.
Not something I would like to attempt!
Link to latest Activations reports.