Each year, volunteers perform thousands of activations. They provide assistance for any form of emergency search and rescue. An example is a boat breaking down and needing to be towed back to harbour. In more extreme cases, volunteers are often called upon to perform Medivac responses in remote locations.
The Coastguard and VMR receive only limited funding from the government so they rely on fundraising, sponsorship and donations.
An important source of revenue for volunteers and an important resource for boat owners is Marine Assist. It’s similar to roadside assist but on the water. Members in the south east are covered by bases stretching from Bribie Island to the NSW border.
It costs just $80 a year for membership, less than a cup of coffee a week. If you’re not a member, boat owners in trouble will have to pay between $120-$160 an hour so volunteers can cover their fuel costs.
For more information and to become a member, contact the nearest flotilla.