May 2022

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Read about our Activations during April

Hi everyone,

Recently we assisted for an urgent medivac of an elderly gentleman in the middle of the night from Hamilton Island, and received this very touching and heartfelt message from his daughter:

“Hi guys, 3 of your incredible volunteers came out late Sunday night to take my dad from Hamilton Island to Airlie where he was transferred to Proserpine Hospital. This rescue served part of saving his life and I’m indebted to you forever. There were 3 boat crew plus a lovely paramedic who saw the state I was in and were so wonderful. I lost my mum 4 years ago, and my dad is my everything. He’s now in St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney and has major heart failure, yet is still alive thanks to your efforts. Thank you, forever, and times infinity. You make the world a better place.”

We also spent a lot of time on the water as part of an extensive search for a missing fisherman, unfortunately without success. Other units from Bowen and Midge Point as well as a couple of volunteer crew from Mackay also joined us, plus the RACQ CQ Rescue. Our thoughts are with his family. The full story of our searches is on our Activation page.

The fuel levy has been reduced

After announcing last month that we have been forced to apply a fuel levy, we are happy to report that this has recently been reduced. Note that the recent reduction in the excise rate for fuel has no impact on our running costs, as we are able to claim the excise back as our fuel is not for use on the roads.

We will continue to monitor the nett price of fuel, and as it appears to be on a slight downward trend, we may be in a position to lower the fuel levy again shortly. As a point of interest, during the period of the search mentioned above, we consumed more than $7,500 worth of fuel, including the excise.

Funding to expand our VMR Base

VMRW has been granted $420,000 from the federal government to upgrade and expand our training and operations area, upstairs at the Marine Club.

We have been pursuing this goal for 4 years, and it has been very gratifying to see the support that we have received across the board for the project, including agreement in principle from the Whitsunday Regional Council for a 30-year lease extension to the premises from 2029.

Progress of the Blue Water Review

The Blue Water Review (now called the Marine Rescue Implementation Plan) into the integration of marine rescue services in Queensland continues to progress, and we are currently reviewing the final draft of the Risk to Resources study and will be sending our response to the working group as soon as possible.

There is a lot of work required before it reaches implementation, and that may be a phased approach over a few years rather than all happening on a certain date. The name for the new organisation has not yet been announced.

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

The brief session we have on ABC Tropical North each Saturday morning on all things happening on the water is receiving positive feedback, according to ABC. You can listen in on ABC Tropical North around 7:30 am every Saturday for some tips and anecdotes that may be of interest.

Delay for out-of-water service for VMR1

The out of the water service for Coral Sea Marina VMR1 has had to be postponed due to the heavy demands of the recent search, but it will now be coming out of the water around the middle of May for planned maintenance, including new anti-fouling thanks to Chris Carter and the team at Hawke’s Boatyard.

Whale Song VMR2 will be on standby if required for an activation, and we can also call on Bowen, Midge Point and Mackay if required for assistance on the water during that period.

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