August 2020

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Mal

Hi everyone,

CORAL SEA MARINA RESORT COMES ON BOARD AGAIN
We are delighted to confirm that our Platinum Sponsor, Coral Sea Marina Resort, has renewed their sponsorship for another three years. The support includes provision of berth spaces for both of our rescue vessels, and the continuation of naming rights for our primary vessel, Coral Sea Marina VMR1.

The sponsorship, generous support and assistance provided by Paul Darrouzet and the rest of his Coral Sea Marina team is outstanding, and the renewal of our agreement is very pleasing to us.”

ACTIVATIONS STILL GOING UP
This July we have completed 19 activations, nearly twice as many as for the same month last year – it has been pretty full on! In 1999, VMRW completed 50 activations, including 3 medivacs, accounting for about 721 man-hours on the water. So far this year we are tracking the same as last year, with 69 so far, which is a little surprising considering the limitation on boating activities due to Covid-19 earlier in the year, and we expect to exceed last year’s total overall.

That total was 126 activations, up over 8.5% on the 116 of 2018 and well above the 82 from 2017. The largest increase has been in medivacs, which went from 17 in 2017 to 33 in 2018 and 41 in 2019. Total crew hours on the water last year was almost 2,100 hours.

VMRW covers an area of over 13,000 sq. kms, sometimes more, and has provided VHF radio repeaters on Hayman and Whitsunday Islands, with AIS stations on both islands and at Shute Harbour.

BLUE WATER REVIEW
Marine Rescue organisations around the state are waiting for an update from the State Government on the fate of the Blue Water Review, which was looking at merging all marine rescue organisations in the state into a single body with more realistic funding that will guarantee the continuation and survival of those organisations.

When the current model was instituted many years ago, it provided about 50% of the funding required for those organisations. Today, that dollar figure has not changed, but rising costs of vessels and operation mean that it now equates to only about 15% – and that is clearly not sustainable state-wide.

NEW SILVER SPONSORSHIP
VMRW is pleased to welcome Ezilend as a VMR Sponsor. Managing director Jack Bradford has recently moved to Airlie after many visits to the area. A keen boatman, Jack loves the region for the terrific boating and continues to run Ezilend, a national finance brokerage, from Airlie. Jack says that Ezilend specialise in all types of asset loans and with an easy on line process, great staff and many lenders to choose from a great loan and a great rate is guaranteed. http://www.ezilend.com.au

HAVE YOU RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP?
Not one of our volunteers is paid, and they make themselves available 24/7 in all conditions so we can keep our marine rescue net operating to ensure the safety of the boating and island communities of the Whitsundays. We even have to pay to be a member, and have to buy our own uniforms!

None of our volunteers do it for recognition, they simply see it as a way of putting something back into the community with a vital service. The Whitsundays has the highest ratio of boat ownership in Queensland, about 16% or 1 in 6 people have access to a boat. If you have a boat, you can join online – it is cheap insurance, and gives us some funding to be there when you might need us.

A big thank you to all members that have already renewed their membership – if you have not done so yet, it is important that you renew to remain financial and protected. Do it now, don’t forget!

• Membership is just $80 – that is cheap insurance compared to a tow back from say, Whitehaven, which can be around $1500 for non-members. Then there is the outer reef which can be big $$$$!
• Membership renewals and new memberships can continue to be made online at http://vmrwhitsundays.com.au/join/

STAY SAFE OUT THERE
Our volunteers have been serving the Whitsundays under various organisation names for over 55 years, saving lives at sea. And we 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 comply with all social distancing and isolation guidelines not only for your own sake, but the safety of your family and friends and everybody in this great community we all live in.

Mal Priday
President,
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday


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