August 16

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Major contributors to VMR Whitsundays

Activation 04/08/16

Skipper: Ray Lewis

Crew: Stu Applegate & Roger Wodson

Task: Medivac, Hayman Island

Received a call for a medivac as I was preparing for the afternoon boat training session so I  put out an email to all crew and phoned Stuart whose boat we were going to use for towing/rafting up training.

Crewed up, checks done and two QAS personnel on board, we departed at 1540 for Hayman Island.

hayman passage.jpg

A quick ten minute turn around and we were on our way back to Abell Point Marina.  Stuart and Roger shared the helm duty and we were back, unloaded our patient, refuelled and berthed by 1800 hrs.

Time on job:  2¼ hours

Activation 04/08/16

Skipper: Fin Forbes

Senior Crew: Tom

Crew: Stuart & Jim (trainee)

Task: Medivac, Hayman Island (yep, two in one afternoon/evening!)

At 1915 hrs. Nathan from Rockhampton QAS Co-ordination Centre advised that VMRW services were needed for a Medivac from Hayman Island.

We left APM at 2000 hrs. with two Paramedics (Chris and Pam) on board and travelled to Hayman Island under a cloudless starry sky and on a calm sea (beautiful).

We only needed to wait a couple of minutes for the patient and a companion to board at Hayman’s marina and we were on our way back to Airlie by 2055.

A smooth 45 minute run back to APM ensured we had unloaded our passengers, refuelled and were back in our pen by 2200 hrs (after informing Hay Point VTS of our safe return).

As per usual I would like to thank all those involved in this successful operation.

Time on job: 2 hours

Activation 12/08/16

Skipper: Mal Priday

Crew: Norbert, Mick & Rod

Task: Tow, Armit Island

I was just about to finish work when I received a phone call from Fin looking for a skipper – one of the race boats participating in Airlie Beach Race Week (a record 131 entries – awesome!) was in difficulties near Armit Island.

After getting all details from Fin including lat/long and a phone number – the boat’s VHF was not operational – we confirmed that they were okay and anchored on the northern side of Armit Island, with rigging problems and only a 4hp outboard which was useless against our trade winds.

VMR1 left Abell Point Marina at 4:30 pm for the 10.6 mile trip to Armit in a south easterly of about 15 knots and against a flooding tide. After coming alongside, doing necessary paperwork and passing the tow line, we started back towards Abell Point at 7.5 to 8 knots.

Activation 12 08 16

Monitoring towline as Cruise Ship steams north

In the shelter of the mainland and just outside the leads to the marina we were able to have them drop the tow and make their own way to their berth under their own power.

VMR1 was refuelled and washed before returning to its berth at 7 pm.

Time on job: 2½ hours.

Activation 17/08/16

Skipper: Paul Catts

Crew: Tom & Roger

Task:  Search & Salvage, near Double Cone Islands

Called out at 1330. A trimaran contesting day 5 of Airlie Beach Race Week had capsized 1 mile from North Molle in an ebbing full moon tide and 25 knot winds.

The crew had been taken ashore by another boat and we were tasked to locate and secure the vessel.

We left at 1415 with a spare anchor on board and collected a bouy/marker from MSQ and redezvoused with the crew at Abell Point before heading out.

At 1450 we started a pattern search with wind and tide in mind – it would be somewhere between North Molle Island and Double Cone Island, but white caps made it difficult to spot the trimaran’s white hull.  Our search was unsuccessful – as had our attempts to get a helicopter, due to their busy schedules, combined with a storm front moving through.

At 1730 the skipper/owner of the stricken vessel had engaged a helicopter and within 15 minutes it found the vessel one mile from Double Cone – just outside our search pattern.

We were there in a few minutes and one of the vessel’s crew attached lines to the hull.  With all 600 horses in action we made several attempts to right it with another storm brewing, but were unsuccessful and towed the vessel to a shallower area, bearing in mind the vessel’s still attached 15 metre mast and rigging.

closer to god under tow cropped.jpg

Their crewman swam back to the vessel to retrieve our main tow line and attached the MSQ marker bouy. At the owners request we used our second tow line to drop our spare anchor and headed back to Abell Point.

Hay Point VTS was notified and a SECURITAY message issued.

We were back in pen at 2000 – almost 6 hours in stormy conditions.

Time on job: 5¾ hours.

PS: For further information about the aftermath of this activation, please see our Facebook entries.

Activation 17/08/16

Skipper: Geoff Smith

Crew: Norm, Norbert & Roger

Task: Medivac from Turtle Bay.

Bill called 2150.  A female passenger on a chartered catamaran in Turtle Bay had fallen and banged her head.

We met the paramedic, Amy, at the boat and departed at 2215, 5 POB.

We had a beautiful clear sky, no wind or tide and flat seas, the moon rising as we went through Fitzalan Passage.  Heaven on a stick.

We checked the Lat and Long with the boat as the position we had was in Turtle Bay, yet the initial lat/long suggested 30 miles North of Bait Reef?? And sure enough the 19 deg South became 20 deg and made a bit more sense.

We arrived at 2325 (after skirting a hunking great uncharted rock which appeared out of the gloom) and Amy went aboard to check out the patient who was sitting patiently. There was a doctor on board who had called us in as it was a head wound, and help was a distance away if things went wrong.

After loading the patient and friend we departed 2335, 7 POB, arriving at the fuel dock 0035. The boys helped Amy with her kit and the patient. We fuelled and returned to the pen for 0100.

Thanks to all for such a smooth activation and a delightful trip.

Time on job: 2¾ hours.

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