VMR Whitsunday operates from Gloucester Island/Passage (West of this is covered by VMR Bowen) to Cape Conway and Shaw Island in the South (Out from Midge Point and Repulse Bay. South is covered by VMR Midge Point and VMR Mackay).
The map above shows the approximate extents of our operational area.
We own and operate two purpose-built Rescue vessels – an 11.9 metre NoosaCat for open waters, large vessels and Medivacs, supplemented with a 6.7 metre Naiad RHIB for smaller vessels and inshore assists. Our organisation is entirely made up of volunteers, including boat crew, radio operators, management, fundraisers, trainers and others.
Reciprocal Rights with other VMR locations
Each VMR location is a separate incorporated organisation. In general, each has its own membership arrangements and benefits and you need to have a separate membership wherever you launch your boat. There are two areas of Queensland which have agreed to reciprocal rights in their own zones – Brisbane/Gold Coast and Central Queensland.
VMR Whitsunday, in Central Queensland has reciprocal arrangements with VMR squadrons at Midge Point, Bowen and Burdekin (Ayr). If you are a current financial VMR Whitsunday member, you are also covered if assisted by these locations but not in other locations. If you require cover anywhere else, you should take out a membership at that location. Likewise, current financial members of VMR Midge Point, Bowen or Burdekin are entitled to be assisted by VMR Whitsunday under the same arrangements as if you were assisted by your own VMR. As an example, at VMR Whitsunday we provide a free tow, each membership year (conditions apply), but each VMR has its own terms and conditions. However if you are a member of any other VMR (e.g. Currumbin, Mackay, Weipa, etc) you will be treated as a non-member by VMR Whitsunday.
How does this work in practice?
You should launch your boat in the area where you will be boating. VMR Midge Point, Bowen or Burdekin may assist you, but you will be taken to a safe haven within their zone. As an example, If you are fishing near the reefs off Bowen, you could be assisted by VMR Bowen and they may take you to Bowen – not Airlie Beach. VMR Whitsunday operates from Cape Conway in the South to Cape Gloucester in the North. See map above for local indicative VMR zones).
When you are assisted, the assisting VMR has no access to other VMR location membership records so they will charge you and you need to pay their invoice. You then forward their invoice and proof of payment to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will check your membership record to ensure that you are financial and have not already used your annual free tow. If all is in order, we will refund the fee you paid.
Our Radio Base
The VMR radio base operates a dedicated listening watch each weekend between 7 am and 5pm.
Frequencies monitored are channels VHF 16, 67, 81, 82 and HF 2182 & 4124
Additionally VMR Whitsunday operates in co-operation with VMR Mackay and Whitsunday VTS (Vessel Tracking System) to monitor a 24/7 emergency listening watch on channels 16 and 67. Please note this watch is for emergency calls only and non emergency calls are generally not responded to out of operational hours.
In an average year we are activated 120 times, about 10 times a month, for a mixture of tow assists, search and rescues, medical evacuations from boats and island resorts (and campers), transfers of Queensland Fire and Rescue, Queensland Ambulance Service and also the Queensland Police Service to emergency situations.
We operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and to maintain this we need the support of more dedicated volunteers. We are always after any extra support so if you can spare 5 hours a month then this would greatly assist in keeping the radio room operational at all times. Become a volunteer now.
Other radio frequencies used in the Whitsunday region include:
- 06 Hayman Island Resort
- 09 Coral Sea Marina
- 12 Daydream Island
- 14 Port of Airlie Marina (also 74)
- 68 Hamilton Island Resort
- 81 VMR (Whitsunday Island) – use if you are South of Hook Island
- 82 VMR (Hayman Island) – use if you are North of Hook Island