Marine Rescue Queensland welcomes first units

Marine rescue boat in Queensland. | Newsreel
The new Marine Rescue Queensland has been launched with AVCGA units among those who will transition to the new organisation. | Photo: Scott Brodie (iStock)

Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ), the state’s first single integrated volunteer-based service, welcomes its first units this week.

Mackay and Gladstone will become the first marine rescue units to join MRQ, with all groups moving to the new organisation over the next 18 months.

Queensland Police and Community Safety Minister Mark Ryan said marine rescue services would continue throughout the transition.

Minister Ryan said marine rescue volunteers undertook approximately 4000 rescue activations each year, operating across 46 units along Queensland’s coast.

He said plans were in place to transition existing units to MRQ over the next 12 to 18 months.

“During the transition period VMRAQ and AVCGA units yet to transition will continue to provide lifesaving marine rescue services to their communities, in the same way they always have.”

He said the Government would continue to support all transitioning Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland (VMRAQ) and Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Australia (AVCGA) units throughout the transition period.

“Similarly, the boating community is encouraged to continue to support these volunteer-led units in the same way they always have now, and into the future as MRQ.”

Minister Ryan said the boating community should continue to follow the marine safety rules and to Log On and Log Off via their local unit or VHF radio.

He said in an emergency, send a radio distress call on VHF 16 or dial 000.

“For all other assistance, such as if you get lost, run aground or experience engine problems, and it is not an emergency, contact your local marine rescue service, whether it is VMRAQ, AVCGA or MRQ, who provide rescue services in your local area.

To find the local service in your area visit the MRQ website.