ACTIVATIONS SHOW NO SIGN OF SLOWING DOWN
At the time of writing and with a couple of days still left in the month, VMR Whitsunday has already completed 18 activations for the month – last September it was just 8! The year to date number is a staggering 111 compared to 89 at the same time last year…an increase of 31%, and almost up with the 126 we did for the record breaking whole year – and there are still 3 full months to go! There is no doubt this year will see a new high in activations.
Boat sales are apparently booming with long waiting lists for some boats, and with the Whitsundays already having the highest ratio of recreational boats at 16% of the residential population, as the population increases, so does the boating fraternity.
If you are going out on the water, make sure your boat is properly maintained and that you have the appropriate safety equipment on board and know how to use it, and always carry spare fuel. Go to Maritime Safety Queensland for more details. And always play safe, check the weather forecast, and tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
With the increase in activations, we are occasionally a bit light on for available crew. If you are interested in joining our band of our keen volunteers, maybe on the boat or in the radio room, you can volunteer online. Simply note which area you are interested in, and we will get in touch to give you details of the initial induction and training required.
USING VHF RADIO
We strongly encourage the use of VHF radio around the islands and further afield as the coverage is much better than a mobile phone. If you do need to call for assistance, that boatie located in the next bay could quite possibly hear and assist you!
It is important to know how to use your VHF – a common error is poor adjustment of the squelch control, effectively stopping you from hearing any transmissions.
There are VHF repeater stations on Hayman Island (Channel 82) for coverage of the northern part of the Whitsundays and even to the outer reef, and on Whitsunday Island (Channel 81) for the area to the south. In an emergency (Mayday if life-threatening, or Pan Pan) use channels 16 or 67 which use MSQ repeaters at the same locations.
Those emergency channels are monitored 24/7 either by the VMR bases in Cannonvale or Mackay, or by Whitsunday VTS operated by MSQ at Hay Point.
EVENTS COMING UP
We have been able to gear up a bit as COVID restrictions progressively ease and we can start to look forward with more confidence.
Saturday 3rd October (this Saturday)
Come down and grab a snag at Bunnings (onions on the bottom of course). 😋
Every Friday night – A contactless method has been devised to recommence meat tray draws at the Dingo Beach pub.
Thank you to all members who have already renewed their membership. If you have not done so yet, it is important that you renew to remain financial and protected. Do it now, don’t forget! Memberships help to keep us on the water. We are finding that the donation tins that provide funding for us are very much lighter than usual – our current cashless society is not helping us in that area.
• Membership is just $80 which is quite cheap insurance compared with a non-member tow charge of $325 per hour. Even if you don’t go far out, a tow can quickly become costly.
• Membership renewals and new memberships can be made online.
STAY SAFE OUT THERE
Our volunteers have been serving the Whitsundays under various organisation names for over 55 years, saving lives at sea…and we want you and us to be here for a long time more.
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday