A volunteer at VMR ( Volunteer Marine Rescue) and with the police,  Jill Barclay is a gem of Hervey Bay. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle
A volunteer at VMR ( Volunteer Marine Rescue) and with the police, Jill Barclay is a gem of Hervey Bay. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle Valerie Horton

Marine Rescue attends strange incidents in Sandy Strait

On the water with VMR Hervey Bay vice commodore Jill Barclay.

DURING May, Marine Rescue Hervey Bay carried out eight activations and returned 17 people to safety.

Although not an exceptionally busy month for activations there were a number of interesting incidents.

On May 3, a mid-afternoon call was received from a vessel that had reportedly run out of fuel off Woodgate.

The skipper was confused as to his actual position as the vessel was located some 300m off Burrum Heads.

The one person on board the vessel was not in a fit state to be in command of his boat and a decision was made by the VMR skipper to tow it back to Burrum Heads rather than provide fuel.

On May 6 a call to our radio room was received from a fisherman on the Urangan Pier advising that two people had fallen out of their vessel and the boat was “not under command” and driving around in circles.

The two men were able to swim to the sandbank near the jetty.

Although the two people on board were safe, the Water Police requested Marine Rescue Hervey Bay locate the vessel as it was a safety issue.

Our vessel headed out and picked up the occupants from the sandbank and proceeded north to locate the vessel.

It was eventually sighted submerged with only the bow out of the water.

A tow line was able to be attached and it was dragged to deeper water.

The vessel was successfully righted and towed to the sandbank where it was bailed out. A slow tow back to the boat harbour followed.  

On May 18 we were requested by Water Police to search for a 5m tinny with one person on board, in the Northern/Southern Gutters area. 

The fisherman had been expected back at 5pm Tuesday evening and had not returned or contacted family.

Our vessel departed harbour and commenced a general search from the Southern Gutters to the Northern Gutters.

After talking to a number of boaties in the area, it was discovered that one of them had provided a battery to a vessel of similar description to the one we were searching for.

The boatie advised that the skipper he had provided the battery to had advised that he was returning to the Urangan.

Some three and a half hours after we commenced the search it was called off as the missing vessel had returned to the harbour. 

Marine Rescue Hervey Bay advises if you are going out on the water alone – follow basic safety precautions, carry safety gear, have a working radio and wear a lifejacket.

Please take care on the water.

For your safety, log on with Marine Rescue Hervey Bay when you go out on VHF channels 73, 22 or 67 or 27.91MHz, or call on 4128 9666.