Messing about on the water should be a pleasurable experience. Messing up on the water begins when you don’t take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your passengers safe.

Australia’s search and rescue systems return around 2000 people a year back to their families, many of whom may have perished at sea.

Find out why Logging On and Logging Off should be second nature for all Brisbane boating enthusiasts as we look at their importance and the process involved.

Understanding How to Log On and Off

All boaters need to Log On and Log Off with their closest Marine Rescue unit whenever they go out to sea. It’s a simple way to let others know when you’re heading off, where you’re aiming for and the time you expect to return.

By doing this, it means a responsible third party is aware that you’ve gone out on your boat and that you’ve come back safely once your trip is over.

Not Logging Off acts as a red flag. It alerts others that something might be wrong and allows them to put measures in place to try and find you. In order To Log On, you should get in touch with your local Marine Rescue radio base. The ideal way to do this is by using your marine radio.

Find Your Local Base

The first time you ever do this may take a little longer as there’s lots of useful information your Marine Rescue unit will want to make a note of. You could do this by visiting a base or calling ahead.

These are the details they’ll want to take from you. This information is going to help find you should there be an emergency. You should have the following details to hand:

  • The name of your vessel and its registration number
  • What communications equipment you have on board: (VHF, 27MHz, MF/HF)
  • Your mobile telephone number
  • The boat type and length along with hull and topside colour
  • Where you normally keep and launch your boat
  • An onshore contact name and number
  • The place and time you’re heading out along with the Log On location
  • The number of people heading out on your boat
  • Your expected destination and the purpose of your trip
  • The time you expect to return

When You Should Log On

Marine Rescue units encourage boaters to log on each time they head out on their boats. If you’re just going out for a day, you can relax knowing you’ve done the right thing by telling someone responsible when you’re due to come back.

They can then verify your whereabouts and take the necessary action if you don’t check back in on time. Should you change your scheduled time of return, you should contact the radio base again and let them know about your change of plan.

When Your Should Log Off

The ideal way to Log Off is by using your marine radio to let the Marine Rescue unit when you get back. If they don’t get confirmation that you’re back safely, they can then take action to try and find you.

When sailing up or down the Redlands coast, you should make a plan so you can check in with other Marine Rescue radio units as you complete the route.

These services can then keep track of your progress until you safely get to your destination in Queensland or hand over to other marine rescue volunteers in NSW.

Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Raby Bay

Volunteers run VMR. They operate on-water assistance to Brisbane boating enthusiasts along with search and rescue services. Located at Cleveland Point, VMR Raby Bay is one of a large group of VMR units across Queensland.

VMR Raby Bay has around 70 active volunteer members and over 500 “On-Water Assistance Members.” It offers help and assistance to boat users regardless of whether they are “On-Water Assistance Members.” It also provides on-water transport for the Queensland Ambulance Service (Medivacs).

VMR Raby Bay is an emergency service that helps with urgent, life-threatening situations. These include serious marine incidents along with search and rescue operations.

VMR Raby Bay provides these services to anyone heading out on the water locally. Situated next to the William Street ramp on Cleveland Point, it provides the essential Log On and Log Off service. This allows Brisbane boating enthusiasts to inform a third party about their travel arrangments and lets VMR Raby Bay monitor their safe return.

Operating Times for VMR Raby Bay

Staff operate the base from 0600-1800 on Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays. Outside these hours, members are “on call.” There is an out-of-hours emergency number for the Unit Resource Co-ordinator charged with organising a response.

VMR active members come from all backgrounds and don’t have to have any previous experience. VMR Raby Bay offers regular training on weekends or out-of-hours.

The training includes presentations and written assessments that encompass exams and assignments. There’s plenty of practical instruction and continuous assessment too. Trainees then gain a nationally recognised qualification and Commercial Coxswain licence.

Active members regularly take part in fundraising activities. VMR Raby Bay gets very little government funding. Members generate most of VMR Raby Bay’s funds from public generosity at venues in Brisbane and the Redlands. They’ll also collect any expired marine flares you may have.

VMR Raby Bay Membership

VMR Raby Bay offers its services to the boating community and island public every day of the year. For a subscription of $77.00, you will benefit from:

  • Up to 3 hours of On-Water Assistance every year (currently worth $500)
  • A refund of up to $500 for any help from other Queensland VMR units (including the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard)
  • 24/7 emergency rescue coverage

You can join here online or by downloading a form here and then sending it back to  PO Box 87, Cleveland, Qld, 4163.

The Importance of Supporting VMR Raby Bay

Mike’s Marine knows what an important role the VMR services play in keeping all of us safe at sea. It’s crucial that we show how much we value what they do by supporting them in any way we can.

We always love a chat about anything boat related in our local area. So get in touch with us today to discuss any boating safety issues you may have.