New boat for rescue service
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.