January 17

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Activation 22/01/17

Skipper: Fin Forbes

Senior Crew:  Rod Wilson

Crew & Comms:  Norm Fraser

Task: Medivac  – Hamilton & Hayman Islands

I was just about to sit down to watch the potential marathon tennis match between Federer and Nishikori (at the Australian Open) when Bill (our 24/7 Phone Holder) rang at 1915 to advise that QAS wanted our services for a medivac from Hamilton Island.  Little did I know that this was going to turn into a bit of a marathon in itself.

We left APM at 1945, with Chris the paramedic on board.  Seas smooth, light winds, almost cloudless, but no moon, so almost pitch black.  We arrived at Hamilton Island Marina at 2050 and were told that there was a slight dilemma because there was a guy with a broken arm at Hayman Island and a guy with jellyfish stings on Hamilton.

So the powers that be in QAS in Rockhampton and Brisbane were to prioritise.  The decision was made that the most urgent case (the stinger situation on Hamilton) would be dealt with by helicopter, and we would go to Hayman for the broken arm.

We left Hamilton marina at 2110 and got to Hayman marina at 2215.  We loaded the patient aboard and left Hayman marina at 2225.

About half way across the Whitsunday Passage, we got a call from QAS diverting us back to Hamilton Island to pick up the stinger patient.  We got back in Hamilton Island marina at 2330 and had the patient aboard and departing Hamilton Island at 12 midnight.

We were unloaded, refuelled, phone holder and Hay Point VTS informed, and back in our pen by 0100. Hay Point must have been intrigued with our constant updates to them during our nocturnal meanderings.

Thanks as always to the Crew.  By the way it was Norms (special) birthday today, so he ‘celebrated’ it on the boat helping other people and the community in general – great attitude Norm – thanks on their behalf.

Time on Job:  5¼ hours


Activation 24/01/17

Skipper: Fin Forbes

Crew: Michel del Aquila & Norbert Gross (Comms)

Task   – Medivac – Tongue Bay (near Whitehaven Beach)

Bill (24/7 Phone Holder) was looking for a crew when he rang at 0050.

We had 2 paramedics (Matt and Doug) on board when we left APM at 0130.  We travelled via Hook Passage to Tongue Bay.

Seas were lumpy while travelling down the east side of Whitsunday Island.  We arrived at the vessel at 0300 and the paramedics transferred the patient to VMR1 to do necessary assessments of his Irukandji sting.

It was decided to take him back to the hospital on the mainland.  So we transferred his partner to VMR1, and departed Tongue Bay at 0325 for the trip back to APM.

We were unloaded, refuelled and back in our pen by 0500.  We informed Bill, and Hay Point VTS, of our safe return.

Time on job: 3½ hours


Activation 24/01/17

Skipper: Geoff Smith

Crew: John Fearnley & Roger Wodson

Task: Search – Overdue vessel, between Pioneer & Hannah Point

I apologise if this report is confusing. It was a lot more confusing out there.

Emergency coordinator Mackay called to say a 14 ft  Hobie Cat, with brown, white and red sail and 2 POB was overdue.

Bill called approx 1530 with the info but there were several unanswered questions. When did they leave? From where? How overdue were they? It’s 3.30 in the afternoon and good conditions for goodness sake! Did they have a destination/goal, etc?

We left APM at 1555 heading for Pioneer Point and broadcast an “all ships” on 16, 82 & 86. One vessel, Sunset(?) responded with a possible sighting of an off the beach type cat with large letters on the Mainsail, between Hanna and Baird. Bill was on a day trip and reported a similar possible in the same area.

Roger was talking to the rescue coordinator by phone and they asked us to search towards False Nara then up the west coast of Hook Island to Stonehaven. Water Police updated the description to a white sail and black mast.

We had a quick look in the entrance to Nara then started a parallel pattern heading north. We spotted a possible, about 2.5 miles west of the bay below Caves Beach.

On arrival we saw an unnamed “tri”; that is twin Maricat hulls with an open canoe centrally fixed to the crossbeams between them. It had a white taffeta main with a blue diagonal band and with large letters on it black mast and 2 POB, sailing comfortably towards Airlie. It looked like the possible that Bill and Sunset(?) had seen.

The “tri” crew didn’t have any problems, or know of any reason for anyone to be concerned about them, so we left them to it and headed east towards Hook Island. We called Water Police and gave him all the info on the “tri” we could. Still searching on the way, we arrived at Baird Point when Water Police called off the search at 1730.

John took us home to APM arriving at 1815. We fuelled up and gave VMR1 a quick washdown and into the pen by 1845.

Thanks to the patient crew.

Time on Job: 2¾ hours


Activation 27/01/17

Skipper: Ray Lewis

Crew: Jock Main & Michel Del Aguila

Task: Tow – Saba Bay, Hook Island

Received a call from Bill that a Mackay member on a 5.5 M runabout had broken down at Saba Bay with 2 POB.
He also rounded up Jock and Michel as crew, so once they were aboard, we departed APM at 1135 hrs and headed across Whitsunday Passage.
By the time we arrived a chop had developed so we towed the vessel through Hook Passage to the shelter of Whitsunday Island to complete the paper work.
I had to explain that there were no reciprocal rights with VMR Mackay and they would have to pay us, so I suggested that they should join our squadron as well if they plan to visit our area of the Whitsundays as well.
activation 27 01 17.jpg
The white caps had come up across the passage for the return trip but we delivered the vessel to the Abell Point boat ramp, fuelled up and were finished by 1435.
Thanks to the crew

Time on Job: 3 hours


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