Outside of Brisbane, the largest number of registered boat owners in Queensland is claimed by residents living in Mackay/Whitsundays area.
Easy to understand when you think of the easy access they have to the picturesque Whitsunday Passage and the stunning number of Islands there.
Water search and rescue missions for missing boaties in the Mackay area is undertaken by VMR or Volunteer Marine Rescue. A strong presence of 100 members, both men and women form their base.
Initial discussions began with David Pace of Vanderfield Mackay mid-way through 2013. “VMR wanted a John Deere tractor to fulfil certain criteria. Specifically the tractor/boat combination had to weigh less than 4.5 tonne. It was required to tow a purpose built 8.5M boat with 2x 250hp outboards which was being constructed for them. The vessel was to be used as a fast-response boat which had the capability of going out as far as the reef”.
It was a time consuming process however in the days leading up to Easter the John Deere 5075E Tractor along with the new boat were delivered to VMR. Much to their excitement and anticipation it was added to their existing fleet and very necessary equipment list.
Proving the new boat and tractor were vital elements in the large number of rescues over the Easter four day break is an understatement. VMR completed five successful rescue efforts.
David said, “It’s great to know Vanderfield assisted with such an important group within the Mackay community who provide a critical service to boat owners here. Especially when you think of a John Deere Tractor helping to save lives makes it all the more special”.