June 2021


Hi everyone,

VMR Whitsunday continues to make light of last year’s record rate of activations, up 86% so far and with assisted persons up 105%. To put those numbers into perspective, 2019 was a record year with 126 activations. In 2020 we did 168, a new record, up 33% on the previous year. 117 of the 168 activations were in the second half of the year, almost as much as the whole 2019 year!

We believe the rate of activations will continue to increase, mainly due to COVID restrictions on overseas travel. People cannot go overseas, and more are buying boats or using boats that have not been used for a while, maybe without regular maintenance.

The last two weeks have been pretty quiet thanks to the strong winds and rain that the Whitsundays has been experiencing – as it turned out, great timing to have Coral Sea Marina VMR1 out of the water for maintenance. Click HERE for May Activations.

SAREX – A Huge Success!

The Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) held earlier in the month was a great success for all participants. Highlight was the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter doing two lifts off VMR1, a spectacular sight as they moved closely together across Pioneer Bay. Watch the video:

Our thanks go to the Water Police organisers, our great team of catering volunteers, participating VMR squadrons from Burdekin, Bowen, Midge Point and Mackay, as well as SES and QAS personnel involved over the weekend. And just in case we did not have enough to do over the exercise weekend, we responded to 8 proper activations, including to the outer reef!

Blue Water Review is ticking along

We have submitted our Risk vs Resources survey as part of the Blue Water Review, and look forward to discussing that with the implementation team in the next few weeks.

Goodbye Geoff F…..and thanks!

One of our long-serving skippers, committee and life member, Geoff Fitzsimmons, is leaving us for a change of scenery and lifestyle to run the hotel at Muttaburra, well inland.

We thank Geoff for his contribution to VMR Whitsunday, and wish him well for his new venture. Senior crew person Paul Martin is stepping up to the management committee in Geoff’s place, and we look forward to working with him.

VMRW has quite a lot of history

The VMRW History Project is getting some good information on the early days of rescue services in the Whitsundays, but if you think you may have something to contribute – photos or anecdotes – please email mal.priday@outlook.com and someone from the project team will be in touch. 2024 will mark the 60th anniversary of the start of rescue services here, and we want to make sure that it is well documented and recognised.

Membership is cheap insurance…tell your friends!

VMR Whitsunday membership is cheap insurance at just $80 – membership renewals and new memberships can be done online. Your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday