Next step for VMR: $1.3M boat to be built in a year
HERVEY Bay's Volunteer Marine Rescue has taken the next step towards making their new and improved rescue vessel a reality.
With a timeline set for the purpose-built boat's hull to hit the water in 12 months, Rescue 1 will be outfitted with the latest technology.
Specially designed by naval architect Jon Pattie to suit the local VMR's needs, the fit-out includes a quick-release towline, heat-seeking technology to help locate people overboard, safety equipment for crew on the vessel including CCTV and an intercom system, and the capability to transport three stretchers.
Vice-Commodore Jill Barclay said, as the third busiest VMR in the state, the new $1.3million rescue boat would allow them to attend rescues on the other side of Fraser Island which they previously had not been able to.
"In the past year we have done 275 activations on the water, 50 of those were medical evacuations and about 12 of those were from police work," she said.
"Most of our medical evacuations are from Fraser Island and there is an increasing number of tourists over there.
"With the sinking of the HMAS Tobruk we will be able to get out there for a medical evacuation or if there was a major marine incident.
"Over the last three years there have been five fishing trawlers that have sunk outside of Fraser Island and we haven't been able to be a part of any of the rescue effort out there."
VC Barclay said Hervey Bay VMR sold its primary rescue vessel last June as it was old and had reached the end of its usefulness.
"We had to downgrade our service to the community," she said.
"It will be great to get this vessel on the water and improve the service we are offering."
VMR has been planning for the new boat since 2015 and has managed to raise more than $767,000 themselves as well as securing $160,000 worth of State Government funding.
The gap in the funds needed was bridged by a $400,000 boost from the Freemasons' charity Hand Heart Pocket after being nominated by local Freemasons.
Tinana business Allweld Manufacturing will build the boat using local suppliers and workers.
The new boat will be 11.94m long with a beam of 5m and draft of 0.525m, it will also be equipped with two 810L fuel tanks to cover a range of 336 nautical miles or 14 hours travelling at 24 knots.
Rescue 1 will be able to carry 11.74 tonnes and reach a top speed of 36 knots.