Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg has another reason to celebrate its 50 year anniversary following a donation from Bundaberg Regional Council.
The organisation was established on 1 November 1972 as the Bundaberg Air Sea Rescue Squad and has since served the Bundaberg Region community with a number of operational activities including:
- an on call 24/7 marine search and rescue (SAR) capability
- maintaining a 12/7 marine radio safety listening watch
- supporting local emergency services and State and Federal government agencies
- providing a free Log On/Off service for local recreational and commercial boaters and vessels in transit
- promoting safety at sea
Mayor Jack Dempsey, who is also patron of Volunteer Marine Rescue Bundaberg, said Council had resolved to donate $10,000 from its partnerships and sponsorships program.
“On behalf of the Bundaberg Region community we’d like to thank the many volunteers for their years of service and also their families who support them as they give freely of their time,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“This donation doesn’t just recognise the years ahead but the 50 years of dedicated service already provided.”
Mayor Dempsey said VMR Bundaberg’s 50th Anniversary book was gifted to Council and would be donated to Bundaberg Regional Libraries where it would be made available to the community.
VMR donation a boost to volunteers
VMR Bundaberg President Rod Studholme said the donation would be a big help for the volunteer-run organisation.
“It’s a significant boost to our income and at the same time it relieves volunteers of the requirement to do fundraising,” Rod said.
“There’s a number of things we can use it for.
“We can use it for training and we can also use it to maintain our rescue vessels.”
Rescue crews are highly trained and members receive ongoing training to ensure their skills are of high quality, enabling them to be relied upon in difficult emergency situations.
There were 50 activations last year with 93 people helped to safety.
Rod said his favourite thing about being part of the group was “the rewards you get from volunteering and saving people’s lives at sea”.
“We have 65 operational volunteers consisting of rescue vessel crew, radio operators, fundraisers and support staff.”
But he said more helpers were always welcome.
“You can never have enough volunteers.”