Volunteers ensure smooth sailing

Published 11:47am 12 August 2021

Volunteers ensure smooth sailing
Words by Jodie Powell

A dedicated team of volunteers are the unsung heroes of Moreton Bay, rescuing hundreds of boaties who find themselves in strife on the water every year.

Redcliffe Coast Guard flotilla Commander Ron Grundy says the service’s primary focus is on search and rescue, working with Queensland Water Police and other emergency services.

The crucial work of the Redcliffe flotilla is made possible by about 110 volunteers, who on any given day find themselves coming to the aid of vessels with engine trouble, that have run aground or ferrying people with medical emergencies from Moreton Island, as well as joining major search and rescue operations.

Ron says said more than 200 people have been returned to the mainland from the island in the past two years alone.

With limited government funding, the Coast Guard relies on sponsorship from organisations such as Redcliffe Leagues Club, Freight Plus, RSL Redcliffe and Brisbane Marine, community donations and fundraising and Marine Assist membership to provide its services.

Unlimited access

Volunteers ensure smooth sailing

The Redcliffe flotilla is home to five vessels, ranging from its three-metre rigid inflatable boat to its 12-metre flagship worth between $800,000 and $1 million to replace.

Ron says anyone heading out on the water should take out a Marine Assist membership, which gives unlimited rescue access each year, as well as discounted radio courses that enable boat owners to qualify for a federally-mandated operating certificate to use high-frequency and very high-frequency radios.

“We’re like the RACQ of the water…Marine Assist is our version of roadside service,” he explains.

A helping hand

“We have more than 1500 Marine Assist members, so if they have any problems, we go and help.”

Ron says the $80 annual membership fee helps cover the cost of rescues, meaning the Coast Guard can give more back to members.

The cost of rescues depends on the size of the craft – the six-metre boat typically costs $120 an hour to run.

Ron says the Coast Guard also comes to the aid of non-members.

“We go and get them and ask for a donation, but we don’t insist on payment,” he says.

He says said having a VHF radio on board boats is a huge safety boost in case of emergency.

“A radio on the boat is the best form of communication – a mobile phone is only any good if someone picks it up at the other end.

“Radio is important as well because we give regular weather reports.”

Read more local news here.

Share

Related Stories

Popular Stories

Brisbane folk and jazz star to perform at Bribie

Music lovers will have the chance to enjoy a night of traditional folk music and jazz when Brisbane singer/songwriter Sue Wighton performs at Bribie Island Community Arts Centre next month. Find out what's on her set list here **FREE TO READ**

End of an ERA on Redcliffe Parade
News / Local

End of an ERA on Redcliffe Parade

ERA Bar and Grill will shut its doors on Redcliffe Parade for the last time early next month. ** FREE TO READ **

Mateship sets walker on new path
News / Local

Mateship sets walker on new path

Bill Lindsay is proof age is no barrier to making new mates and getting active, but it took a Saturday morning with The Man Walk Redcliffe group to convince him initially