RESCUE: (Front right) Queensland Emergency Service Volunteers’ deputy commissioner Mike Wassing talks with Commodore John Smith. (Back from left) crew members Joe Ognjenovic, David Marshman, Colin Goldsworthy and Ray Harris.
RESCUE: (Front right) Queensland Emergency Service Volunteers’ deputy commissioner Mike Wassing talks with Commodore John Smith. (Back from left) crew members Joe Ognjenovic, David Marshman, Colin Goldsworthy and Ray Harris. Alistair Brightman

$500k needed to build new VMR boat for Coast

IT WILL take "more than a few sausage sizzles" - Marine Rescue Hervey Bay needs half-a-million dollars to build a new response boat and continue serving the community.

Hervey Bay RSL, Marine Rescue's largest boat is now four years past its use-by date of ten years.

Rescue vice commodore Jill Barclay said the boat was showing signs of age.

"RSL rescue is primarily used for medivacs from Fraser (Island) and search and rescues," she said.

"We can put a stretcher onboard but it involves taking the back panel out and sliding the stretcher onto the chart panel."

To make the ride more comfortable for patients, Ms Barclay said the unit had started plans to fundraise for a new state-of-the-art boat.

The unit requires about $500,000 to build a fully fitted boat and complete works on the base to fit it on the dock.

"It's a bit more than a few sausage sizzles," Ms Barclay joked.

"We know it will take a while to raise the funds."

Last week Queensland Emergency Services Volunteers deputy commissioner Mike Wassing toured the base to talk with volunteers about their plans.

An infrastructure committee was formed to work out what is required on the new boat, which is hoped to be several metres longer than the existing RSL rescue.

With the Hervey Bay water police often using VMR as a first response, Ms Barclay said the new boat needed to be equipped like a command centre.

That would include a larger planning area, a purpose-built patient area and a temporary one if the vessel needed to carry two patients.

With only $19,600 provided by the state government each year to run the base, Ms Barclay acknowledged how much work was ahead.

"November 2017 is the goal to have the new boat launched," she said.

Ms Barclay is looking to the community and businesses who could contribute.

LAST YEAR

- The radio room received 21,208 radio calls from vessels

- Rescue vessels spent 702 operational hours on the water

- 22,725 litres of fuel was used.

- There were 150 activations

- 217 people were returned to safety

- There were 36 medivacs from Fraser Island



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