Res­cue boat is fit for duty

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Whit­sun­day Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue (VMR) boat VMR 1, has been hauled out of the wa­ter, in­spected and de­clared fit for duty for an­other year.

VMR com­mit­tee mem­ber Tom Man­ning said each year, the boat was in­spected in ac­cor­dance with the re­quire­ments of the Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land (VMRAQ). This year, how­ever, an ad­di­tional out of wa­ter in­spec­tion was con­ducted to en­sure com­pli­ance with the new national sys­tem for do­mes­tic ves­sels, which came into ef­fect on July 1.

“In this in­stance the sur­veyor wanted the boat out of the wa­ter to make sure it was to­tally com­pli­ant with AMSA (Aus­tralian Mar­itime Safety As­so­ci­a­tion) reg­u­la­tions,” Mr Man­ning said.

The hull in­spec­tion was com­pleted at Hawkes Boat­yard on Tues­day, July 2, af­ter which VMR 1 was re-launched for marine sur­veyor Terry Davis to fin­ish his in-wa­ter safety checks.

Mr Man­ning said while VMR Whit­sun­day was yet to re­ceive the writ­ten re­port, it ap­peared the res­cue ves­sel had passed in­spec­tion with fly­ing co- lours. “There was noth­ing that was non­com­pli­ant – ev­ery­thing was 100 per cent, which is how it has to be at all times, be­cause we might get a call in the mid­dle of the night in some of the most atro­cious weather and the boat has to be ready to go,” he said.

VMR Whit­sun­day is a not-for-profit vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion whose main ob­jec­tive is to save lives at sea. In an aver­age year, VMR Whit­sun­day is ac­ti­vated 75 times, for a mix­ture of train­ing, tow as­sists, search and res­cue op­er­a­tions, med­i­cal evac­u­a­tions and trans­fer of emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel to marine sit­u­a­tions. The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­ceives a small an­nual grant from the Queens­land Govern­ment and the re­main­der of op­er­at­ing costs are met through lo­cal fundrais­ing, spon­sor­ships and mem­ber­ship and ser­vice fees.

Mr Man­ning said he wanted to thank all those in­volved with help­ing the Whit­sun­day VMR and in par­tic­u­lar Hawkes Boat­yard and the Whit­sun­day boat­ing fra­ter­nity.

SHIP SHAPE: Marine sur­veyor Terry Davis, Troy Horse­ford and Chase Richard­son from Hawkes Boat­yard and Terry Man­ning from the Whit­sun­day VMR in front of VMR1.

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