Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone (VMRG) was originally formed in 1971 as the Port Curtis Air Sea Rescue Association. In 1983, it was renamed, after affiliating with the representative state body, Volunteer Marine Rescue Assn. Queensland Inc. (VMRAQ).
Volunteer Marine Rescue Association of Queensland is recognised by the Qld Department of Emergency Services, and the representative body for the 25 accredited VMR Squadrons in Queensland. It represents its affiliated Squadrons at all levels and is responsible for the development and implementation of Training and Operational Policies.
The 25 Squadrons, extending from the Northern Territory border to the New South Wales border, provide the Search and Rescue Response Service to the boating community under the direction of the Queensland Water Police.
The Association and it's Squadrons in conjunction with Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), provides boating and sea safety education programs to the community.
All activities by squadron members are performed on a voluntary basis. Each squadron receives partial State Government funding for vessel replacement costs, but relies primarily on membership fees and its own fund raising efforts to cover operating expenses. Annually, Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone is called to undertake up to 120 incidents, covering search and rescue, breakdowns, groundings, and medical evacuations.
Additionally, assistance is provided for the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race,Boyne Tannum Hookup, some Port Curtis Sailing Club races.
The objects for which the Association is established are :-
- 1.To maintain a volunteer marine rescue squadron :-
a. To provide the recreational boating public with a professional standard of marine rescue service, primarily for emergency search and rescue, and life threatening situations.
b. Where possible, to retrieve disabled vessels to a place of safety, within the capacity of our rescue resources.
c.To liase with Police and Ambulance to assist with the evacuation of medical cases in remote marine areas.
d.To provide advice and guidance to mariners in the navigation of our area of responsibility.
- 2. To educate boat owners in safety at sea.
- 3. To concern itself in such matters as :-
b. Boat safety.
c. Search and rescue organisation and control.
d. Radio operator training.
f. First aid training.
g. Mechanical training.
The VMRG operational and administrative centre is situated in a building provided to us by the Gladstone Ports Corporation in Alf O'Rourke Drive Gladstone, adjacent to the boat ramp (see our 'Contact Us' page).
The squadron's area of responsibility is generally from Cape Capricorn in the north to Bustard Head in the south, and 50 nautical miles seaward to reef islands. In cooperation with Gladstone Harbour Control, a 24 hour watch is effectively maintained on VHF Channels 16 and 82.
The squadron operates three rescue vessels :-
- 'GLADSTONE 1' - a 9.8 metre catamaran, outboard powered, and registered for offshore duties.
- 'MOBIL II' - a 5 metre aluminium mono hull, outboard powered, used primarily for inshore and harbour duties.
- 'QGC RESCUE 3' - a 7.5M outboard powered RIB.
The squadron is administered by a ten person management committee, six of whom are executive members.
The squadron currently has over 1600 financial members, approximately 140 of whom participate actively in administrative and rostered duties. Five rostered rescue boat crews are maintained, together with five rescue coordinators, and thirty rostered radio operators.