New boat for res­cue ser­vice

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

CHRIST­MAS has come early for Ma­rine Res­cue Dou­glas Shire.

The vol­un­teer ma­rine res­cue group has been gifted a for­mer po­lice boat from Townsville.

MRDS vice pres­i­dent Tom Pat­si­avoudis said the boat will make a big dif­fer­ence to their op­er­a­tions.

“This boat is the best of both worlds,” he said.

“It gives us the speed for us to get out to im­me­di­ate sit­u­a­tions and hav­ing out­board en­gines gives us the abil­ity to get into very shal­low wa­ter.

“The new tech­nol­ogy on board will elim­i­nate a lot of angst, even as a skip­per, go­ing out to sea in the mid­dle of the dark makes it very hard to find a lit­tle boat.”

The lo­cal res­cue or­gan­i­sa­tion has fi­nally trans­ferred from the Coast Guard to Vol­un­teer Ma­rine Res­cue af­ter a dif­fi­cult bat­tle over as­sets.

MRDS re­ceived the new boat thanks to their new gov­ern­ing body, VMR.

“We had a suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion,” Mr Pat­si­avoudis said.

“We’ve be­come self suf­fi­cient. We’re all lo­cal vol­un­teers who work to give back to our com­mu­nity.

“This ves­sel will be a ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity and we’re very ex­cited to have it here but we’re go­ing to need air­con­di­tion­ing.

“There’s a knock-on ef­fect to ma­rine safety so we have to keep our port safe.”

Dur­ing the tran­si­tion stand­off, the res­cue group was locked out of their build­ing and spent three months off the wa­ter.

“It was an un­ac­cept­able amount of time,” Mr Pat­si­avoudis said.

The boat will be re­painted and named at an of­fi­cial cer­e­mony soon.

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