New Vessel Bolsters Regional Marine Rescue Capabilities

Minister for Police and Community Safety The Honourable Mark Ryan
  • Mackay Region receives a new 7.5m rescue vessel to enhance the area’s marine rescue capabilities.
  • The vessel is part of the Miles Government’s $22.3 million marine rescue vessel replacement program, delivering new vessels across Queensland coastal locations over the next 12 months.
  • The new vessel is a contingency vessel, boosting the region’s capacity with a modern, safe and responsive vessel to use when additional capability is required due to emergency, disaster or maintenance and repair.

Minister for Police and Community Safety Mark Ryan today launched Mackay’s new marine rescue vessel MR31 to help local volunteer rescue services keep people safe on the water.

The MR31 is a modern 7.5m monohulled vessel, designed to accommodate the crew and up to six rescue passengers, adding a significant capacity to support local rescue efforts.

The contingency vessel will be used by regional marine rescue services when additional capability is required due to disasters, maintenance or repair and can be deployed throughout the area.

Since becoming operational, MR31 has responded to several marine search and rescue operations, including providing critical support to the Queensland Water Police during their response to the tragic incident on Kinchant Dam.

The vessel is part of the Miles Government’s $22.3 million Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement Program, which will replace up to 10 search and rescue vessels along Queensland’s coastline over the next 12 months.

The Miles Government is currently delivering on its commitment to further invest in local marine services, which includes the establishment this year of a single, integrated marine rescue service, called Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ).

MRQ will progressively bring together Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue to continue the tradition of protecting Queenslanders on our oceans and waterways, while further supporting the local volunteers who support our communities.

Quotes attributable to Police and Community Safety Minister Mark Ryan:

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of marine rescue services in Queensland and it’s especially evident here in this region.

“Supporting our volunteers with replacement vessels like this one to assist their communities signifies our deep commitment to safety, for both marine rescue volunteers and the boating public.

“Delivery of this vessel is part of our ongoing commitment to support our dedicated, local volunteers who often place their own safety at risk to save lives in hazardous conditions and weather.

“We will continue to further support marine rescue through establishing a single, integrated marine rescue service, when we launch Marine Rescue Queensland this year.”

Quotes attributable to Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert:

“As the Minister knows I have been a strong advocate for enhanced resources for our frontline marine rescue volunteers.

“The work they do for their local community and visitors to our community is nothing short of extraordinary.

“Given the way they sacrifice their time and efforts for the benefit of their fellow Queenslanders it is entirely appropriate that they have the best equipment and vessels to support their selfless efforts.”

Quotes attributable to Marine Rescue Queensland Chief Officer Designate Tony Wulff:

“The modern vessel program is a cornerstone of the new Marine Rescue Queensland and a positive step to help keep the community and our volunteers safer on the water.

“Marine volunteers do so much to keep the community safe and this new vessel will help ensure they have the equipment they need to continue their valuable lifesaving work.”

Quotes attributable to Volunteer Marine Rescue Mackay President Russell McLennan:

“VMR Mackay is proud to host the MR31 vessel for our region. In just in this week alone, it has proven to be an invaluable asset, playing an important role in marine search and rescue operations, including the successful rescue of a boatie from Freshwater Point.”

“We would like to thank the Queensland Government for its ongoing support to enable us to deliver this valuable service to the community.”

/Public Release. View in full here.