Coast Guard wants volunteers for rescues, fundraising

FROM medical evacuations on Fraser Island to helping boaties who have run aground or broken down, Coast Guard Sandy Straits is there for people in need and is operated by volunteers fighting to keep their organisation on the water.

Coast Guard Sandy Straits commander Jukka Manttari said the group survived through the generosity of community, enabling them to ensure boaties had a safety net in the rescue group's patch of water, which stretched from the Mary River barrage to McKenzie Jetty on Fraser Island and as far as Kauri Creek, near Tinnanbar.

"It's quite an expanse of water," he said.

Mr Manttari said the group received $20,000 in funding annually from the State and Federal Governments and, considering their insurance alone cost about $15,000, that wasn't enough to keep the Coast Guard Sandy Straits operational, he said.

He said the funding hadn't changed since 1997.

The Fraser Coast council gives $1000 to Coast Guard Sandy Straits each year and fundraisers also help, with the group receiving support from various businesses and community events, including Maryborough's annual Pub Fest, which raised $2500 last year.

He said the group was looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, operating the radio and rescues.

To get involved, phone 4129 8141.

Topics:  coast guard sandy straits fundraising radio rescues volunteers

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