February 2020

President’s Report

Hi everyone,
VMR Activations are still ramping up!

Looking back
With 2019 behind us, we can now look at our total activations for the last few years. 2019 ran at 126, up over 8.5% on the 116 of 2018 and well above the 82 from 2017 and 94 from 2016. The largest increase was in medivacs, which went from 17 in 2017 to 33 in 2018 and 41 in 2019.

Vessels aground went from 3 to 10, highlighting the need for careful navigation at all times. Total crew hours on the water last year was almost 2,100 hours compared to the prior year’s 2,038. We assisted 360 people during 2019 and 340 in 2018. Fuel used during the year was 28,651 litres, more than 1350 litres higher than in 2018.

Onwards to 2020
2020 has started with a bang, with 15 activations in the first three weeks, including 3 night-time medivacs from Hamilton Island in two nights. January last year we were activated 12 times in the whole month. You’ll find details at the link directly below this report.

Community support
It is appropriate that we thank the community and our great team of sponsors for the fantastic support that helps us to make Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday a success as the key marine safety net for the boating and island communities in the Whitsundays. Our list of sponsors is growing all the time, and includes Coral Sea Marina|Resort, Emerald Sea Surveys, Hawkes Boatyard, Rotary Club of Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Lions, Hamilton Island, Helibiz, Whitsunday Escape, and many others. Without the ongoing support of our sponsors and the broader community, we would not be here.

We won an award!
Late last year we were delighted to receive the Tourism Whitsunday Gold Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or a Volunteer Organisation! Our volunteers don’t do what they do for recognition, they see it as a way of putting something back into the community, so when their efforts are recognised it is a very nice bonus.

2019 Highlights
Other highlights for us during the year included refurbishment and reinstatement of the Marine Club, installation of our other AIS stations on Hayman and Whitsunday Islands, and the purchase and putting into service of our second rescue vessel, Whale Song VMR2.

All in all, a very good year, and we look forward to continuing to provide high levels of service to the boating and island communities in 2020.

Kind regards,
Mal Priday
President, VMR Whitsundays


How far does your VMR Whitsunday membership extend?

VMR Whitsunday has a Reciprocal Rights Agreement with Midge Point, Bowen and Burdekin. This means that if you are assisted by one of these VMR squadrons you will still receive your annual free tow, up to 4 hours.

Note that you must initially pay the VMR who tows you in, but you can then claim the charge back from us. Full reciprocal rights rules can be reviewed here.

If you travel into another VMR zone, it is best to launch your boat in that zone, because that is where you will be towed to if you get into trouble, not to Airlie Beach.

Our website includes a generous amount of boating and local information. If you live and go boating outside the Whitsundays, it is best to join that local VMR to get access to their list of benefits.


VMR Social Meeting

This regular meeting is on the first Monday of the month…and you’re invited! The next one is coming up next Monday (3rd) at 6:15pm.

The evening kicks off with an informal social meet including drinks around the bar (or outside watching the sunset) and grilled sausages on the BBQ with salad ($3 pp)… followed by a short meeting to talk about ‘what’s going on’.

You don’t need to book or let anyone know you’re coming…just turn up! Come and socialise with your VMR volunteers and do something different than you usually do on a Monday evening. 😋


Helping VMR Whitsundays

There are a number of ways you can help us…and we really appreciate it. You could volunteer your TIME – details HERE. You could also assist us by donation, for example:

  • Throw a few coins into one of our donation tins when you see it at a local business
  • Donate online via our website HERE.
  • Come along to our next BUNNINGS SAUSAGE SIZZLE and buy a snag! Next one is this coming Saturday, 1st February.

The coins in those tins definitely add up! Recently, collection tins from Hotel Metropole produced $173.90 and the Paddy’s tin amounted to $657.85! Thank you everyone!

Special thanks to Green Energy for their donation of $350. Much appreciated.


VMR Meat Tray Raffles at Dingo Beach Hotel

Head out to Dingo Beach for a cold beer and a relaxing afternoon/evening and if you’re there on a FRIDAY, hang around for the sensational VMR meat tray raffles! The word is out…these are awesome!

Meals are served between 5.00pm and 7.30pm so join the friendly locals and kick back with a quiet drink, great meals and enjoy a good time. To date our meat trays have brought in over $4,000 in additional funds for VMR which is incredibly helpful.

If you can help sell a few raffle tickets, please give Geoff a call on 0417 221 768