IN SERVICE: The Hayman Island VHF radio repeater returned to service this week after being out of action since Cyclone Debbie hit in March last year.
IN SERVICE: The Hayman Island VHF radio repeater returned to service this week after being out of action since Cyclone Debbie hit in March last year. Whitsunday VMR

Hayman Island marine radio repeater in action

LOCAL boaties have a bigger and better safety net thanks to Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays as the re-installation of the Hayman Island VHF radio repeater was finished earlier this week.

The channel 82 repeater was damaged in Cyclone Debbie and, after months of delays, it is back on air.

VMR Whitsunday president Mal Priday said the repeater had more solar power with bigger batteries and wind generators which are rated for 100-knot winds.

"Early reports indicate that signal now reaches Gloucester Island,” he said.

"Tune to channel 82 if you are North of Hook Island, out on the reef or on the mainland coast between Airlie and Gloucester Island.”

The repeaters allow boats to communicate with each other out on the water and the replacement of the Hayman Island site and the other repeater (channel 81) on top of Whitsunday Island's Mt Robinson cost over $80,000 with the help of grants and donations.

Mr Priday said the VMR was also looking into implementing automatic identification system (AIS), an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services, in the future.

"We are in the early stages and are working with bareboat owners about putting AIS at both sites,” he said.


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