May 2018


From the President’s Desk

Activations in April are sitting at 10 in total to date. There was 1 medivac from Hamilton for a pregnancy for QAS, 4 training runs, 2 breakdowns and 3 Police activations. One of these was for a reported flare sighting (nothing found), another was for a person in an inflatable canoe with no lifejacket but a few sharks around him (found), and there was the very lucky man found off Green Point at 8 p.m. at night with no lifejacket after a number of hours in the water. All the details about these activations can be found on our Activations page.

TC Iris and TC Iris (again) left us with a string of bad weather and little boating activity, but that will increase now that the weather is moderating ahead of the best time of year in the Whitsundays, the winter. TC Iris also caused the cancellation of the Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) planned for April, and that has now been rescheduled to July 21 and 22. Interest was very high for the April date, with all 5 squadrons in the Zone participating as well as Police, MSQ and SES. We were expecting between 90 and 100 persons to be involved, with a good number of crew from VMR Whitsunday included. As we get closer to the July date we will again be asking for expressions of interest from those that may wish to participate, as well as those who may wish to help Alan with catering, no small task with so many personnel attending.

By the time you read this we will have completed our obligations with the Superboat Races in Bowen, on April 28 and 29. We are always on the lookout for suitable and keen volunteers to help us in all aspects of running VMR Whitsundays, and to put something back into the community – not just boat skippers and crew, but radio base operators, emergency phone holders, help with fundraising, administration, sausage
sizzles, etc. See our Volunteer page for more information.

Regards, Mal

My Emergency Crew – Hints & Tips

MyEmergencyCrew is the system that VMR Whitsundays uses to keep track of who is available to go out for an activation.   At left is a view of what the phone-holder sees..  Notice the 10min, 15min etc next to names? It’s called ERT (estimated response time) and is the time it takes for the member to get from home to the boat.  This gives the phone-holder (or radio operator) an idea of how long it will take to pull a crew together. Also useful if an activation isn’t urgent as it provides the opportunity to give those who live further away a chance to get out on the boat.

Active Crew & Trainees…..can you please advise Marlene of your ERT so it can be added: or send a text msg to 041 882 7852. Knowing response times may make all the difference in an emergency!

Meet a VMR Active Member – Alan Corney

Alan CorneyYou may have skipped quickly over Mal’s mention of Alan in his President’s Report above, but here is your opportunity to get to know a bit more about this guy who likes to stay in the background. 🙂

So, introducing…Alan Corney!  Alan is the Treasurer of VMR Whitsundays, as well as a Radio Operator and part-time Caterer (as per the mention above).  He joined VMR two and a half years ago because he wanted to have more involvement in the local community and apparently enjoys his involvement apart from “getting frustrated with the unfriendly accounting package”  😁 I asked Alan a few random questions…just to get an idea of what makes him ‘tick’…….

Alan CorneyQ: Are you usually early or late?
A: I try to always be early.

Q: What gets you fired up?
A: Ignorant and ill-informed politicians.

Q: Is there anything on TV that you refuse to watch?
A: The ABC

Q: What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?
A: I try not to let other people down.

VMR Squadrons support Bowen Superboat Races

Every squadron within the Marine Rescue Queensland Northern Zone made the effort to be present at the Bowen Superboats on April 28 and 29. We were of course there with Abell Point Marina VMR1 alongside VMR Bowen, and we were joined by VMR Burdekin with a strong contingent, VMR Mackay, and VMR Midge Point.

The Superboats were very impressive, lapping at an average speed of over 90 mph and hitting over 100 mph (160 kph) in a straight line. And the big boats sounded great!  Spectators were also treated to a display of a jet pack – and yes, they can walk on (and above) the water! Each of the squadrons will also be participating in the rescheduled (thanks TC Iris) Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) planned for the Whitsundays, now planned for July 21 and 22.


Thanks to everyone who supports us with counter top collection tins. This month we collected $166.75 from the Night Owl at the top of the main street, $158.85 from the one at the bottom end, and $60.40 from Quadrant Marina.

Special mention must go to Peter Carr who gave us a donation of $100 when he caught up with us at the Bunnings BBQ recently.  Thanks everyone!

You’re about to head home…and the motor coughs and dies….

Quote: “When a fuel-related breakdown occurs a pleasant day out on the water can become a potentially terrifying and dangerous experience. Instead of motoring back to the boat ramp to head home feeling pleased because you’ve got a feed of fish for the family, you’re bobbing about miles out at sea with the night or bad weather closing in.

This quote comes from the MSQ article ‘Fuel – It’s kind of important!You would be amazed at how many activations are related to boaties either running out of fuel or having fuel-related engine problems.  Don’t let it be you! 🤔

Do you know your legal obligations?

So….you’ve had a little ‘bingle’ out on the water but nobody is hurt. Is it serious enough to report?  What exactly does need to be reported?  This video will shed some light……

Notices to Mariners

Surprise RockThree new notices to mariners have been added to the Queensland Transport Website for our region since the last Samson Post. These are:

  • Shute Harbour to Low Rock—beacon replacement
  • Hayman, Hook, Langford and Bird Islands—beacon restoration
  • Surprise Rock—isolated danger buoy off station

You’ll find the details on the Qld Government Transport website. 

Toot..Toot!!! What does that mean?

If you are approaching another boat and they give two short blasts of sound….do you know what that means? What if it was 5 short, rapid blasts? Yeah…that boating course was a long time ago 😄…. if you’re not sure, here’s a quick update.

BCF Annual Members Night

BCF held a BCF Club members night at their Whitsunday Plaza store on March 28th. There was a range of lucky door prizes and BCF also provided snacks to a good turn-out of members. We were there! 👍 
Trevor James, Mal Priday, Roger Wodson, Rick Brown and Alan Corney were on hand to discuss VMR operations and the benefits of VMR membership.

Bunnings Sausage Success

Did you come along to Bunnings on 27th April and say hello? We were out the front and passing out sausages as fast as we could cook them. 🍞 🥖  Doesn’t matter if you missed us this time as we will be back again on June 8th.

Members Social Meeting (and Sausage Sizzle)

Speaking of sausages, 🙂 the next VMR Whitsundays Social Meeting will be on:
Monday 7th May at 6:15pm.

The evening kicks off with an informal social meet including drinks and grilled sausages on the BBQ with salad ($3 ea), followed by a short meeting to talk about ‘what’s going on’. It’s a great opportunity to meet people, talk about volunteering, or just enjoy a social night with free parking and cheap food. 😆

Boat Activities for the Kids

Got a little sailor in your family? Why not get them to help make their own sailboat. The main stuff you need is a laundry basket, a few streamers or coloured paper….and some imagination!

You’ll find all the instructions here.  👶 👧

That’s it for this edition! Click below for the last month of activations.


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