IT was never going to be a long time between the lockout of the local marine rescue volunteers and something serious happening on the water.
It happened at the weekend, and since then, I’m told, there has been a spate of smaller incidents where marine rescue would have put to sea to sort people out.
We have a professional fishing industry of course and a huge population of recreational boaties and fishermen, who all need to know there is a proper marine rescue service based in Port Douglas.
Tasking a rescue out of the Cooktown or Cairns Coast Guards is not acceptable. It can take hours for them to show up, even if the alert is acted on quickly.
The lockout of our local QF10 technically leaves Douglas without its own rescue service — something which deeply frutrates the local volunteers who take their role very personally.
In a small community, these are personal matters. If they cannot render assistance, they take it very personally – and this is how it is now. And that’s why they have vowed to continue to operate.
After all, they still have access to their vessel.
This situation regarding the parent organisation, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, badly needs to be resolved.
Unfortunately, with our busy waterways, it will not be long before someone in desperate peril needs the marine rescue. The sea is like that.
AROUND this time of year we’re reminded of the popularity of the Daintree. All you have to do is try to use the Daintree Ferry. A colleague went to make the crossing the other day and simply gave up, due to the length of the queues.
Though the idea of bridge across the river is still a bridge too far for most locals, a second ferry might gain traction if it got the right support.