The construction of Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Hervey Bay’s new $1.3 Million vessel is taking shape, with only a matter of months to go before it leaves the workshop.
Yesterday, some of the Freemasons of the Wide Bay visited the Allweld Manufacturing workshop in Maryborough to inspect Rescue I, the 11.94-metre vessel which will be used to conduct rescues and medical evacuations in Fraser Coast waters. Last year, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland provided a $400,000 Significant Grant towards the construction of the new vessel. At the time VMR Hervey Bay had secured $160,000 in state government funding and had raised more than $767,000. A number of Freemason Lodges in the region championed the grant, helping to get the initiative over the line.
Wide Bay Freemason Russell Darcy said it was a very special occasion as it was the first time that some of the local Freemasons had been able to get up close to see the progress that has been made, having previously only seen sketches of the rescue vessel.
“It looks marvellous, what’s been done so far, we are grateful to VMR Hervey Bay and Allweld Manufacturing for giving us this opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new vessel,” Mr Darcy said.
VMR Hervey Bay Commodore Jill Barclay said Rescue I was on track for completion in November, with the big move to Hervey Bay expected to go ahead then, followed by sea trials and training scheduled for December and January.
“The Fraser Coast is the state’s third-busiest rescue zone, and the addition of Rescue I to our fleet will be a huge plus, enabling us to keep providing marine safety services in our part of Queensland into the future,” Commodore Barclay said.
“January 2020 saw the delivery of the first material to Allweld, with February marking the start of construction.
“By May, the structure was turned over, and we had what was starting to look like a very nice boat. Since then, the structure was fully welded to the build specifications.
“This month, the decks have been laid, fuel tanks made tested and installed, and the Samson post put in place.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the Freemason charity was proud to support this important regional initiative on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.
“This new vessel will enable VMR Hervey Bay to deliver an essential service to those on the Fraser Coast waterways in the years to come, and we are delighted to have worked with the local Freemasons to play a part in helping to fulfil this need in the Wide Bay region,” Mr Mark said.
“We are very much looking forward to celebrating the commissioning of the vessel with the people of the Wide Bay early next year.”