February 2022

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hi everyone,

We certainly shattered our previous record number of activations last year, an increase of over 47% on 2020 and almost double what we did in 2019!

The biggest increase is obviously in medivacs at 89%, but all other activations were generally up 10% as well. So far this month that trend is showing no signs of slowing down, and we are over double where we were at the same time last year, and that is despite resorts running at reduced capacity due to the flow-through of COVID cases on the Islands.

Some Interesting Stats

Looking a bit deeper into last years’ numbers, the following may be of interest:

On average, our crew and radio operator teams spend 103 hours a week on the boats or in the radio room, as well as other countless hours doing maintenance, fundraising and carrying out the many other tasks that help keep VMR Whitsunday on the water – not bad for a bunch of unpaid volunteers!

All of our active members can be very proud of what we have achieved in the last couple of years, an outstanding commitment to saving lives at sea in the Whitsundays.  VMR Whitsunday is now the 5th busiest squadron in Marine Rescue Queensland, behind only the squadrons in the SE corner with much larger population areas.

And so begins a new year…

It’s interesting to compare the difference, so here are the stats for the first month of 2022, compared to where we were this time last year. It looks like the trend is going to continue.

Read about our Activations during December 2021 and January 2022.

Have you checked out our new website yet?

The new website for VMR Whitsunday is now up and running, and it was an excellent effort by committee member Marlene Manto who put it all together. Well done, Marlene! Have a look at it – there is a lot of useful information on it for all boaties. You’ll find it in the usual spot at https://vmrwhitsundays.com.au or click on the image below.

VMR Crew Member voted Volunteer Member of the Year

One of our Senior Crew, Ron McCall, was selected as winner of the Wally Hinschen Volunteer of the Year Award at the Airlie Beach Australia Day Awards.

Ron has been a member of VMRW for over 9 years, and is also a longstanding member of the SES and formerly with the Fire Service in Proserpine. Congratulations Ron, well deserved recognition.

Our new membership system is working well

The new membership system has made things easier for our backup team as well as for members. VMR Whitsunday continues to show strong growth in memberships, and we need to move with the times and make our system more capable and flexible to meet the needs of our members and VMRW.

Under VMR Whitsunday’s new online membership system, members can now stay updated and see their own account details. Members will be receiving instructions on how to access the system as their renewals become due.

Progress of the Blue Water Review

The Blue Water Review into the integration of marine rescue services in Queensland into one combined entity continues to move forward, but there is a lot of work required before it reaches full implementation. Marine Rescue and Coastguard members have participated in a survey to decide on a name for the new organisation, and this will be announced soon.  

Coral Sea Marina VMR1 coming out of the water

Coral Sea Marina VMR1 will be coming out of the water soon for planned maintenance, including new anti-fouling thanks to Chris Carter and the team at Hawke’s Boatyard. She will also be resurveyed, which is due by the end of March. Whale Song VMR2 will be on standby if required for an activation.

We exist to support this community

Our aim this year is to continue to support the boating and island communities of the Whitsundays, providing a reliable marine safety net for all. It stretches us at times, but we are proud of what we have achieved and look forward to continuing that good work into the future. 751 people last year were glad we were here when they were in need!

VMR Whitsunday membership is cheap insurance at just $80. You can  join online and your membership helps to keep us going in case you need us. We hope you don’t, but we are here 24/7/365 if you do!

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
President,
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday