Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg Inc
VMR Base at Burnett Heads
VMR Bundaberg was formed in 1972 in response to a perceived need to provide rescue services for vessels in distress in local waters. The Squad is responsible for maintaining surveillance for an area off the Central Queensland coast from Fairfax Island in the north to the Burrum River in the south and to the ocean side of Fraser Island to the east, representing some 4,000 square nautical miles of ocean. The Queensland Department of Transport has approximately 6500 vessels registered in this region, as well there are numerous vessels regularly passing through these waters en route to other destinations who may also require our services. Bundaberg is the largest small craft entry port into Australia for arriving overseas vessels and VMR Bundaberg is their first contact and welcomes them to Australia.
We maintain a limited coast radio station at our base in Burnett Heads and our volunteer radio operators monitor marine radio traffic from 6am to 6 pm daily, 365 days a year. Our volunteer boat crews and skippers are rostered on standby 24 hours every day and respond to any emergency within a minimum amount of time. Our radio room is equipped with 10 radios (MF/HF, VHF and UHF) monitoring all distress and EPIRB frequencies. Repeater stations are maintained at Mount Watalgan, Sandy Cape and the Hummock. We also maintain an emergency VHF radio on Lady Musgrave Island.
Ordinary people doing an extraordinary job
Our rescue crews are trained Marine Authority Certificates of Competency and our base and vessels meet workplace, health and safety standards. Active members receive ongoing training to ensure their skills are of high quality and can be relied upon in difficult emergency situations. Training courses are conducted on a regular basis. Courses include radio, navigation, weather, first aid, fire fighting, survival, distress signals, marine terminology, seamanship, search & rescue etc. Radio licence courses are also regularly held for members of the public. Sea safety is what we are all about and our rescue service has saved many lives. We encourage the boating public to take all necessary precautions to prevent disasters at sea.
Bundy Rescue 2
Our vessel receives a high profile during public displays such as the Port Vila to Port Bundaberg Yacht Rally, the Midtown Marina Annual Boat Show, Blessing of the Fleet, the Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg Family Fishing Classic and now with the emphasis on the Riverside Parklands in Bundaberg City, more water activities will be staged on the Burnett River in which our rescue vessels will participate. Local newspapers and television stations when appropriate cover any newsworthy items and our organisation receives worthwhile coverage. With the recent addition of the new smaller rescue vessel ‘Bundaberg Rum’ to our squadron, we are able to display this boat locally at parades and fund raising events to give us more public exposure.
Our Offshore Rescue Vessel
Our rescue vessel 'Bundy Rescue 2' is an 11.5 metre alloy catamaran powered by two 300hp Suzuki four stroke outboard motors. The latest navigation equipment incorporating Forward Looking Infrared Red (FLIR) capability is fitted and carries up-to-date emergency rescue equipment and life saving devices. 'Bundy Rescue 2' is in current marine survey and is used for offshore rescues and those involving larger vessels. Delivery of the new vessel was effected in March 2016.
Our Inshore Rescue Vessel
We also operate 'Bundaberg Rum', a 5 metre Sea Jay centre console powered by an 80hp Yamaha four stroke outboard. 'Bundaberg Rum' was purchased in June 2005 for inshore rescues of smaller vessels. It is in current marine survey.
Quick response to emergency situations enables us to prevent potential disaster from vessels running aground or on reefs, discharging fuel into the ocean and/or destroying reefs and fish habitats. Our equipment on the rescue vessels includes towing and recovery gear.