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Rescue & Services

Marine Rescue Queensland sets sail with first two units aboard

Mackay and Gladstone will create history this week becoming the first two marine rescue units to join volunteer organisation, Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ).

MRQ is a new service is established under the Marine Rescue Queensland Act 2024, and will become the state’s first single integrated volunteer based service, which aims to enhancing community safety and improving protections for volunteers.

Marine rescue volunteers undertake approximately 4,000 rescue activations each year, operating across 46 units along Queensland’s coast. Plans are in place to transition existing units to MRQ over the next 12 to 18 months.

Importantly, marine rescue services will continue to be available to the community throughout transition, enhancing responses and community safety.

During the transition period VMRAQ and AVCGA units yet to transition will continue to provide lifesaving marine rescue services to their communities, in the same way they always have.

No matter where you are in the state, whether your local unit is VMRAQ, AVCGA or MRQ, our marine rescue volunteers will be there for Queenslanders keeping them safe on the water.

The Queensland Government will continue to support all transitioning VMRAQ and AVCGA units the throughout the transition period.

Similarly, the boating community is encouraged to continue to support these volunteer led units in the same way they always have now, and into the future as MRQ.

The boating community is encouraged to always follow the marine safety rules and to Log On and Log Off via your local unit or VHF radio – the same way you do now.

In an emergency, send a radio distress call on VHF 16 or dial 000. For all other assistance, such as if you get lost, run aground or experience engine problems (and it is not an emergency) please contact your local marine rescue service (whether it is VMRAQ, AVCGA or MRQ who provide rescue services in your local area). To find the local service in your area please visit the MRQ website at

Minister Mark Ryan said “This week we create history as MRQ delivers volunteer marine rescue services for the first time in Mackay and Gladstone.

“Our volunteers are everyday Queenslanders that devote their time to help save lives and protecting people while out on the water.”

“MRQ aims to provide more support, more protection and more equipment for those who volunteer to save lives.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, we will see more units come onboard as MRQ. In the meantime, MRQ, VMRAQ and AVCGA are committed to continue to deliver services across Queensland. Our commitment is to ensure that when you need help, someone will be there to help you.

“We welcome Mackay and Gladstone and thank the team of volunteers at these locations for their ongoing commitment to help those who need it the most.

“I’d would also like to acknowledge and thank VMRAQ and AVCGA for their ongoing support and commitment to the community and work to support the transition of their units to MRQ.”

Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said “I welcome Mackay and Gladstone volunteer marine rescue units into MRQ, as an important part of our disaster and emergency management response.

“The relationship and connection with the QPS, in particular the Water Police, has always been strong and we will continue to maintain and support these valuable relationships.

“The QPS will continue to support volunteer marine rescue units as they transition to MRQ to ensure continuity of service and keep Queenslanders safe while out on the water.”

MRQ Chief Officer Tony Wulff said “This is a great achievement for MRQ and for our Mackay and Gladstone units who come onboard this week.

“I would like to thank the Mackay and Gladstone executives and volunteers for the dedication and support through the transition and for continuing to work with us as we work together to come together.

“While MRQ is a new service, VMRAQ and AVCGA have a long and proud history of providing lifesaving services to the local community, and I am proud to be continuing that service with these units as MRQ.”

VMRAQ President Graham Kingston said “This week sees the commencement of volunteer marine rescue units transitioning to the new Marine Rescue Queensland service.

“Our volunteers are looking forward to a more sustainable future, while continuing to provide the crucial marine safety and rescue service to the boating public.”

AVCGA Chairman Darryl Prizeman said “It is a significant milestone to see the first two units join MRQ. This outcome reflects the ongoing efforts behind the scenes to make this happen.

“AVCGA will continue to work with the Government to ensure service continuity while supporting our Flotillas through the transition.”

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said “History in the making! Mackay and Gladstone lead the way as the first marine rescue units to join Marine Rescue Queensland (MRQ).

“This new integrated volunteer service aims to enhance community safety and support our dedicated volunteers state-wide. As we transition units over the next 12 to 18 months, rest assured, marine rescue services remain steadfast and committed to keeping Queenslanders safe on the water.

“Together, we’re ensuring a seamless transition and continued support for our boating community.”

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said “Mackay has a long proud history of marine volunteering and rescue.

“The transition to MRQ will bring together volunteer groups under one banner and provide a single, integrated base for better access to equipment and greater support at local and regional levels, enhancing delivery of these lifesaving services.

“The Mackay unit has the capacity and the determination to successfully drive the new MRQ units to continue to lead the State with a high level of excellence.

The Queensland Government is supporting the establishment of a single integrated volunteer based marine rescue service for the State, bringing together volunteers from the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue Queensland under a new service called Marine Rescue Queensland.

The transition of marine rescue operations to MRQ will provide improved support at local and regional levels, with better access to replacement vessels, operating under a single volunteer based marine rescue service and safety network.

Marine Rescue Queensland has been established as a separate community safety volunteer service supported by the Queensland Police Service, further strengthening the relationships between marine rescue volunteers and Queensland’s Water Police