April 2022

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hi everyone,

As you can see from the numbers above, the pace of our activations is showing no signs of slowing down, with the main increase in medivacs (3 in two days recently, including one off a charter vessel at Chalkies Beach) but all other types of assists are up as well. Medivacs are carried out at the request of QAS as part of our Service Agreement with the State.

We did a very urgent medivac from Hayman Island for a suspected box jellyfish sting utilising both rescue vessels, Whale Song VMR2 to transport paramedics urgently to a patient moved to Hayman from Butterfly Bay, followed by Coral Sea Marina VMR1 to transfer the patient. He was later transferred to Mackay ICU after testing showed symptoms of a potential heart attack.

A great team effort by our radio base, QAS from Airlie and Hamilton, Hayman Island staff, and our boat crews.

Read about our Activations during March.

We have been forced to introduce a fuel levy

The price of fuel is a real concern for us at the moment, as it is for everyone, and we have been forced to introduce a fuel surcharge, similar to that of airlines, of $44 per hour to our activation fees for non-members of VMRW to cover the greatly increased cost of operation. The total activation fee rate is now $367 per hour, to be reviewed no less than monthly until further notice.

The last time we had to increase our activation fees was in 2018, but failure to do so at the current time would have seen our operating expenses increase by up to $40,000, which is unsustainable.

Safety message about new flares

Recently we posted on Facebook about a change in the design of some flares that may lead to a problem in an emergency. Most flares used to be fired with the screw cap end upright – the new ones are fired with the screw cap down so make sure you look at the flare instructions before use.

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 progress, with a lot of work required before it reaches full implementation. The name for the new organisation is due to be announced soon.

Specifications for the first very high priority vessel replacements for RHIBS have been finalised and gone to potential suppliers, with specs for larger catamarans to follow shortly.

We are on the radio – tune in for the latest news

We were recently approached by ABC Tropical North to participate in a live radio interview each Saturday morning on all things happening on the water. You can listen in on ABC Tropical North around 7:30 am every Saturday for some tips and anecdotes that may be of interest.

Coral Sea Marina VMR1 getting some maintenance

Coral Sea Marina VMR1 will be coming out of the water around the middle of April for planned maintenance, including new antifouling thanks to Chris Carter and the team at Hawke’s Boatyard. Whale Song VMR2 will be on standby if required for an activation.

Do you have any stories/photos from the ‘old days’?

The history project continues as we approach our 60th anniversary in 2 years, and any stories or anecdotes from the early days would be appreciated if you have any. Send them to info@vmrwhitsundays.com.au.

VMR is a member of WDMG – helping to keep our community safe

VMR Whitsunday is now a member of the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group, and we look forward to providing appropriate advice to that group on any marine matters during an emergency.

Tell everyone you know!

VMR Whitsunday membership is cheap insurance at just $80 and you can join online.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
President,
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday