About VMR Bundaberg
VMR Bundaberg was formed in 1972 in response to the perceived need to provide rescue services for vessels in distress in local waters. The Squadron is responsible for maintaining surveillance in an area extending 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. Maritime Safety Queensland records show approximately 6,500 vessels are registered in this region. Numerous other vessels regularly traverse through these waters en-route to other destinations along the Qld coastline and further afield. Bundaberg is the largest small craft entry port into Australia for arriving overseas vessels, and VMR Bundaberg is their first contact to arrange Aust. Border Force and Bio Security clearance.
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 0600 to 1800 hours daily, 365 days a year. Our volunteer boat crews and Skippers are rostered on standby 24 hours daily, 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 responding to EPIRB activations. 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 rescue crews are highly trained and are required to hold relevant and current Marine Authority Certificates of Competency. Our base and vessels meet the desired Occupational, Health and Safety standards. Active members receive ongoing training to ensure their skills are of high quality, enabling them to be relied upon in difficult emergency situations. Training courses are conducted on a regular basis. Courses include marine 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 radio room is equipped with 11 radios monitoring all distress and EPIRB frequencies. Frequencies continually monitored include 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 0600 and 1800 hours daily. We also maintain an emergency VHF Channel 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 and navigational warnings are issued on receipt.
Our Public Profile
Our vessels receive 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 report on any newsworthy items, and our organisation receives extensive coverage. With our smallest rescue vessel ‘Bundaberg Rum’ we are able to display the boat locally at parades and fund raising events to give us more public exposure.
Our Offshore Rescue Vessel
Our primary Rescue vessel ‘Bundy Rescue 2’ is a 11.5 metre alloy Catamaran powered by 2 x 300hp Suzuki four stroke outboard motors. The latest navigation equipment is fitted (including FLIR –Forward Looking Infra-Red technology) and the vessel also carries a large range of 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. It was constructed and delivered to VMR Bundaberg on 21 March 2016.
Our Inshore Rescue Vessel
We also operate ‘Bundaberg Rum’, a 5 metre Sea Jay centre console, powered by an 90hp Suzuki four stroke outboard. ‘Bundaberg Rum’ was purchased in June 2005 for inshore rescues of smaller vessels. It is in current marine survey.
Quick responses to emergency situations enables us to prevent potential disasters involving vessels running aground or on reefs, discharging fuel into the ocean and / or destroying reefs and fish habitats. Equipment on the rescue vessels includes towing and recovery gear.