New rescue ship on guard in bay
THE Tin Can Bay Coast Guard, flotilla QF17 launched its new rescue ship on Saturday, with Member for Gympie and Coast Guard patron David Gibson performing the naming ceremony.
The new $153,000 vessel, a 5.9m, 1.8-tonne PlateMaster powered by a 175hp Suzuki outboard, was purchased after years of fundraising and arrived in Tin Can Bay in September.
"I name this ship Mount Rescue 2 and may she bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail on her," Mr Gibson said in the wet and blustery conditions.
"This was a proud moment for all the volunteer crew at the Coast Guard to witness the new rescue vessel being named Mount Rescue 2, and it was an honour for me as patron to be performing the naming ceremony," he said.
"Unfortunately, too often we forget about the vital service that our Coast Guard provides to boaties in distress especially as our region includes the notorious Wide Bay bar, which has a reputation of being one of the worst bars of the eastern seaboard.
"The assistance provided by the QF17 volunteers over the years has saved many a sailor from grief during such times of need.
"It was also great to see so many of the public down to witness this important day in the history of the Tin Can Bay Coast Guard and I also took the opportunity to thank the local community for their support provided to the Coast Guard in fundraising to help keep them operational.
"Fundraising is a vital component to keeping an operational presence on the water for the Coast Guard and the support from Mount Pleasant Hotel as the naming rights sponsor for the Mount Rescue 2 is appreciated."
Before the ceremony, Mr Gibson met with Coast Guard members to discuss the new vessel and to view their rescue operations.