CYCA SOLAS Trusts donates $35,705 to VMR Whitsunday

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 20 Jan 2011 15:36:00
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Robin Salmon, President VMR Whitsunday accepting the CYCA SOLAS Trusts cheque for $35,705, from Chairman Matt Allen

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The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) has made a donation to Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Whitsunday for $35,705 which will be used to purchase two new outboard engines for VMR1, the 9.8 metre Kevlar Cat used by VMR Whitsunday.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) has made a donation to Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Whitsunday for $35,705 which will be used to purchase two new outboard engines for VMR1, the 9.8 metre Kevlar Cat used by VMR Whitsunday.

This is the first donation that Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday has received from CYCA SOLAS Trusts, which was established after the tragic 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race to assist search and rescue organisations Australia wide.

VMR Whitsunday operate a Marine Safety Net in the Whitsunday Islands from George Point in the north adjacent to Gloucester Island to Shaw and Thomas Islands in the south and East to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for an area of approx. 5000 square kilometres and is one of the busiest holiday boating areas in the world.

VMR1 carries out about 60 activations per year and can include serious rescue operations where there is real danger to life and limb or other marine mishaps, to simple towing of members vessels that have broken down or have suffered relatively minor mishaps. 

Many activations are for medivacs from the nearby Whitsunday islands, usually after dark when the rescue helicopters are not called.  VMR Whitsunday works with the local Water Police to transport police to incidents on the islands when their vessels are not available. VMR1 is also used to transport SES personnel to the islands in missing persons cases.

In making this donation, CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman, Matt Allen said “We are pleased that the CYCA SOLAS Trusts can provide this valuable assistance to VMR Whitsunday in order to continue their operations and maintain their high level of service and care to the Whitsunday community.”

“It is organisations like these that are often first to come to the aid of yachtsmen, commercial and recreational vessels and as Chairman of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts I am delighted that we can continue to support search and rescue organisations Australia wide through donations such as these,” Allen added.

Robin Salmon, President of WMR Whitsunday expressed his gratitude to the CYCA SOLAS Trusts for the donation of funds to replace the outboard motors on their 9.6m Kevlar Cat rescue vessel VMR1.

“Without the help from the CYCA SOLAS Trust, VMR Whitsunday would have had to undertake fundraising themselves and rely on their local supporters to raise the money to replace the motors.  Our core business is to assist in saving lives at sea rather than fundraise, so we are very happy to receive this much needed donation from the Trusts.”

“The new Yamaha motors have been installed recently and have already notched up ten rescues and a number of training runs, where they have performed perfectly," Salmon added.
 
One of the CYCA’s SOLAS Trusts objectives is to assist search and rescue organisations Australia wide. In the eleven years since it was established, in excess of $620,000 has been donated to 18 organisations in every Australian state as well as the ACT. This is the fifth Queensland donation with VMR Southport/Surfers Paradise (two donations), Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (Brisbane Flotilla) and RACQ Careflight the other Queensland organisations to benefit from CYCA SOLAS Trusts donations.

Last year with the support of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts, the CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course was launched. This specialist course has been designed for sailors to manage medical emergencies when paramedic and medical assistance is not at hand. It aims to provide sailors and others with additional skills and knowledge to assist them in assessing and providing immediate and longer term management for casualties and illness in the marine environment. The next course commences on Tuesday 15 February, 2011 – log on to http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=4423 for further details.

By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media

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