VMR Bundaberg

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 of 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 6,500 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.
Operational Information
Our Primary Activities
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. These activities include support of Water Police initiated Search and Rescue activity, assisting boats with operational problems and response to EPIRB false alarms. Our radio room is equipped with 11 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.
Our Crew
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.
Our Radios
Our radio room is equipped with 11 radios monitoring all distress and EPIRB frequencies. Frequencies continually monitored include 27MHz band channel 88; VHF marine channels 16, 67, 22, 80 & 81; MF/HF channels 2524, 4125 & 6215, 121.5MHz EPIRB and UHF emergency bands. Repeater stations are maintained at Mount Watalgan, Sandy Cape and the Hummock. We take over the Maritime Safety Listening Watch from Coast Radio Gladstone between 06:00 and 18:00 daily. We also maintain an emergency VHF 67 radio on Lady Musgrave Island. Current weather updates issued by Bureau of Meteorology are broadcast to the public and commercial vessel operators at scheduled times. Weather warnings are issued on receipt.
Our Public Profile
Our vessels receives a high profile during public displays such as the Port Vila to Port Bundaberg Yacht Rally, the Lake Monduran Fishing Classic, Bundaberg Multi-Cultural Festival, as a safety boat for Dragon Boat regattas and the Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg Family Fishing Classic 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 primary rescue vessel ‘Bundy Rescue’ is a 10-metre alloy catamaran powered by two 250hp Suzuki four stroke outboard motors. The latest navigation equipment is fitted and carries up-to-date emergency rescue equipment and life saving devices. ‘Bundy Rescue’ is in current marine survey and is used for offshore rescues and those involving larger vessels. It was extensively refurbished in 2003.
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.
Contact Details
Call Sign  VMR 488
Phone  07 4159 4349
Fax  07 4159 4389
After Hours Emergency
Location  51 Harbour Esplanade Burnett Heads
Postal Address  PO Box 566 Bundaberg QLD 4670
E Mail bundaberg@marinerescueqld.org.au
Radio Frequencies
VHF  16, 67, 22, 80, 81
27Mhz  88
MF / HF  2524, 4125, 6215
URL VMR Bundaberg