CHANGING OF THE GUARD: The new vessel on its way to conduct towing configuration and stability trials using the old vessel as an assisted craft.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: The new vessel on its way to conduct towing configuration and stability trials using the old vessel as an assisted craft.

New workhorse cruises in

SIDE-BY-SIDE on the water this week, the two VMR Whitsunday rescue vessels symbolised the end of an era as crew prepared to welcome their new boat while bidding farewell to the old vessel, a well-known and much-loved "workhorse”.

VMR president Ray Lewis said the 12m vessel, proudly named Abell Point Marina VMR1 after the group's Platinum sponsor, was undergoing its final fit-out, while trials and crew training were almost complete.

Mr Lewis said he was sad to see the old 9.8m KevlaCat vessel and "trusty workhorse” be sold after being in service for almost 12 years.

"We are almost ready to put our new high-tech rescue vessel into service.

"The new boat has more power and walk-around decks, which will make it safer for crew members, as well as being more efficient in rescues.

"It has been purpose-built as a rescue vessel with improved fuel economy, and the latest technology infra-red radar and radio direction finder.”

The boat - a NoosaCat 4400 FB Patrol - was designed for travelling long distances and towing vessels.

"It has also been created to better withstand rough seas, and will provide a safe working environment for volunteer crews.”

VMR Whitsunday has 40 active volunteer members, including boat crew, radio operators, management, fundraisers, and trainers, and they are on call 24/7.

During an average year, VMR crew are called on 75 times to undertake training, tow assists, search and rescues and medical evacuations from boats and island resorts (and campers).

The crews also help the Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue with transport missions and they also work with police in emergency situations.


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