RESCUE: VMR Whitsunday secretary Roger Wodson said most of the recent rescues had been due to a lack of care or preparation.
RESCUE: VMR Whitsunday secretary Roger Wodson said most of the recent rescues had been due to a lack of care or preparation. Contributed.

Don't leave it too late: check boats before you set sail

BE PREPARED - that's the message from VMR Whitsunday after a wild month with a record number of rescues.

VMR Whitsunday secretary Roger Wodson said most of the recent rescues had been due to a lack of care or preparation.

"Most (rescues)... could have been avoided,” he said.

"When the perfect weather started (coinciding with school holidays) the boat ramps were overflowing, as boaties rushed out in idyllic conditions. Some didn't check their fuel tanks or batteries and too many were not prepared to set off for an extended distance.”

Mr Wodson said boats travelling further than VMR's capabilities had the potential for disaster.

"Our longest tow was 9.5 hours from Black Reef, when we used over 1000 litres of fuel. By the time we reached Airlie, VMR1 was running on fumes,” he said. "This sets off alarm bells at VMR as our sea hardened skippers are concerned that many boats are travelling beyond VMR's capabilities.

"Recent weather conditions have been ideal for towing but in common conditions of higher winds or larger tides we would not have reached three of the rescues performed.”

VMR Whitsunday is a volunteer charity and donations are tax deductible. Donations: vmrwhitsundays .com.au. Join VMR for $70 a year and get a free tow annually.


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