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.
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 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 Crew: 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.