April 2020

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Mal

VMR Whitsunday wishes to let everybody know that we are still here and ready to provide assistance to the boating and island communities of the Whitsundays. Of necessity though, we have had to adapt and make some changes to protect our valued volunteers and the public, so following is where we stand at the moment.

WHAT’S HAPPENING…AND WHAT’S NOT HAPPENING

Our Services
VMR Whitsunday Rescue Services will continue, with 24 hour operational preparedness for our usual range of activations – searches, breakdowns, out of fuel, EPIRB activations, medivacs, etc. Our Whisper Bay Radio Base will be open on weekends from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm, monitoring VHF channels 16, 67, 81 and 82. Outside of these hours leave your radio on channel 16 and your call will be monitored by Whitsunday VTS or Mackay VMR (daylight hours) and they will relay any emergencies to us. Access to the base will be limited to radio operators and the Management Committee only.

Exceptions
The only exception will be for medivacs for coronavirus or suspected coronavirus patients. These will be handled by the Whitsunday Water Police in deference to the age profile of many of our marine rescue volunteers that puts them in the “at risk “ category. This is a state-wide arrangement.

Calling us
Any emergency telephone calls for assistance should continue to be made to 4946 7207, which is monitored 24/7. As always, if you are in a life threatening situation please call 000.

Training
We have cancelled all on-water training and drills until further notice.

Other Events
• The monthly member’s meeting has been cancelled until further notice.
• The May Day Ball scheduled for May 1st has been postponed to a date to be advised.
• The major Search and Rescue exercise planned for May 15-17 has also been postponed.
• All fundraising activities have been put on hold, including the Friday night raffles at Dingo Beach Hotel, and our much loved sausage sizzles.

We depend upon fundraising to keep our activities going, and if you wish to support us, donations are gratefully received via our website.

New memberships and renewals
• Membership renewals and new memberships can continue to be paid via our website.

ACTIVATIONS

Click HERE for details. March saw 9 activations this year compared to 12 last year – the first time for over two years that we have not beaten the previous year. This would be attributable to resort closures and lots of bad weather, and maybe restrictions on movement. The recent and ongoing bad weather has also stopped many people from going out on the water, and rightly so. For the year to date we are sitting on 34, 3 more than the previous year which represents over 550 crew hours on the water so far this year.

OUR PLEA TO YOU

Our volunteers have been serving the Whitsundays under various organisation names for over 55 years, saving lives at sea. We very much want you…and us…to be here for a long time more.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE HEALTH GUIDELINES BEING PUT OUT BY GOVERNMENT. DON’T BE THE ONE WHO IGNORES THE VALUABLE ADVICE AND PUT YOURSELF AND OTHERS AT RISK. CORONAVIRUS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, AND IT MUST BE TREATED AS SUCH.

Please, please, please!!! Play safe with the coronavirus and give it the respect it deserves. The situation will only get worse in the foreseeable future, so please comply with all social distancing and isolation procedures not only for your own sake, but the safety of your family and friends and everybody in this great community we all live in.

OUR THANKS TO THE COMMUNITY

Our thanks go to the Whitsunday Community for continuing to support us – we have significant ongoing costs, and some fundraising activities have been curtailed. In particular, we welcome Intercontinental Hayman Island as a Bronze Sponsor, Hamilton Island has renewed their Silver sponsorship, and we wish to thank Bunnings for their long term support.

In addition, at the 3 Whitsunday LiveLife Pharmacies, we are in the draw during April, so please support us at the counter. Thanks also to Fish D’Vine who move around the corner into the old Cactus Jacks premises soon.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
President, VMR Whitsundays


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