KEEPING AFLOAT: VMR Whitsunday president Ray Lewis and past president Tom Manning with Whitsunday Ocean Services owners Warwick and Janelle Eastwood (aka Wok and Woody), and the brand new inflatable, provided courtesy of a grant from the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.
KEEPING AFLOAT: VMR Whitsunday president Ray Lewis and past president Tom Manning with Whitsunday Ocean Services owners Warwick and Janelle Eastwood (aka Wok and Woody), and the brand new inflatable, provided courtesy of a grant from the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

Coal terminal donates to VMR

FUNDS can be hard to come by for organisations like the Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), making the recent donation of a rigid-bottom inflatable a 'godsend' for the club.

Past president Tom Manning said the organisation's previous 'rubber duck' was "just on 10 years old and suffering wear".

"And this particular item is a mandatory part of our equipment because the vessel VMR1 doesn't carry an inflatable life raft," he explained.

Knowing that money was tight, Mr Manning went searching for a grant of aid, which was answered by the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd (DBCT).

DBCT chief executive officer Steve Rae said being one of the biggest employers in the region, the company looked for opportunities to give back to the community.

"A lot of our employees enjoy boating and fishing, so at any time they, or their family or friends, could need the assistance of VMR," he said.

"We highly value safety, and our $4000 donation will ensure VMR is equipped to rescue people who find themselves at sea in unsafe situations."

The money from the DBCT paid for a brand new 'Barefoot' dinghy, provided at cost, courtesy of local operators Warwick and Janelle Eastwood from Whitsunday Ocean Services.

The Eastwoods, otherwise known as 'Wok and Woody', also contributed to the deal by providing an ultraviolet (UV) cover and a number of safety items free of charge.

Mrs Eastwood (Woody) said she and her husband were staunch supporters of the VMR and were also keen to support the broader community in this way.

She described the Barefoot as a reliable brand and she praised the DBCT for shopping locally, thereby ensuring ease of servicing as well as supply. VMR Whitsunday president Ray Lewis expressed his gratitude to both DBCT and Whitsunday Ocean Services, as well as thanking Mr Manning for the part he played.

"Tom has [also] recently retired from the management committee to concentrate on obtaining funding and grants, without which the squadron would find it difficult to provide a service to the Whitsunday community," he said.