March 2021


Hi everyone,

Activations for the year to date are tracking at about the same level as last year, with medivacs still a regular occurrence. One of our recent activations was to assist a snorkeller requiring assistance on a vessel at Cockatoo Point, at the north western corner of Hook Island.

Major SAREX planned for Whitsundays

With the assistance of Water Police, planning is underway for a major Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) to be held in the Whitsundays on May 7-9.

As well as putting our own 2 boats and crew into the mix, we are expecting boats from VMR Squadrons at Burdekin, Bowen, Midge Point and Mackay, along with a vessel from Coastguard Townsville and the CQ Rescue helicopter from Mackay. We will also have some QAS paramedics involved, and possibly SES.

It will be a big weekend of essential training for all of the dedicated volunteers involved.

Hamilton Island renews sponsorship

We are delighted to announce that Hamilton Island has renewed their Silver Sponsorship for another year, and wish to express our thanks and gratitude for their continued backing, which assists us to maintain our support for the boating and island communities of the Whitsundays.

Issues with VHF repeaters

Following what may have been a lightning strike at the VHF repeater installation at Hayman Island, the radio repeater and AIS installation both lost power. We took a technician over there and he was able to do a temporary fix pending the arrival of a replacement regulator.

This is not an easy place to access at the top of a 230 metre high hilltop on an island, and we thank IHG Hayman Island for their assistance in transporting him up there. Hopefully that and the AIS will be back fully on line in the next week or two.

The harder one is to repair the AIS on Mt Robinson on Whitsunday Island at an altitude of 450 metres – absolutely helicopter access only, and we are working on the best way and timing to do that as soon as possible.

Upcoming Events

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle
If you are in town on Easter Saturday, drop by at Bunnings and buy a snag (or three) from our hard-working volunteers outside the store. Every dollar you donate goes back into our community.

Dingo Beach Pub Meat Trays
Every Friday night we hold meat-tray draws with the great support of Dingo Beach Hotel, and this is proving very popular with locals and visitors alike – worth checking out! 

Membership is cheap insurance – tell your friends!

VMR Whitsunday membership is just $80 which is cheap insurance. For example, a tow back from Whitehaven usually works out to around $1300 for non-members and the outer reef can be really big $$$$!


Membership renewals and new memberships can be done online.

Stay safe out there, and lets all hope that COVID-19 stays under relative control in Australia.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday