Golfers wanted to help raise funds
GOLF: The Tin Can Bay Coast Guard is sending an SOS to all boaties, golfers and the wider community to roll up for its big charity day at Gympie Pines Golf Course tomorrow.
The day is devoted to raising funds for the Coast Guard which receives only a small amount of government funding for its annual running expenses.
Organiser and Coast Guard Commander Harley Moss said it cost $150,000 a year to run the local Tin Can Bay base and it received just $20,000 from government.
"To stay alive we have to go out and have fundraising days like this golf day and we have to sell raffle tickets and chook raffles and goodness knows what else to make sure we can afford to keep the boats on the water," Commander Moss said.
"More than 100 people played in the event last year and we raised just over $7000.
"So it's fantastic to think that in a community like Gympie, where disposable income is limited, that the public and business community can be so generous."
In the past 10 months, the Tin Can Bay Coast Guard has performed nearly 80 rescues within the Great Sandy Straits and offshore.
Disappointingly the Coast Guard is seldom offered any financial recompense by rescued boaties with 70% failing to contribute to the cost of their rescue.
Commander Moss said there was a classic case two weeks ago when the Coast Guard received a distress call from a vessel about 10 nautical miles north-east of Fraser Island.
"The skipper said he had broken down and needed assistance, so we immediately dispatched our boat Cooloola Rescue," he said.
"We located the stricken vessel and took her in tow back to the marina at Tin Can Bay".
Commander Moss said the operation took several hours and cost the Coast Guard $1100 for which the skipper made a donation of $50.
"The next time this skipper needs urgent help from the Coast Guard we sincerely hope that our fundraisers have managed to raise enough money to pay for the fuel needed for the assist," he said.
"That $1100 means that our fundraisers have to sell 550 raffle tickets."