Burketown Air Sea Rescue
Volunteer Marine Rescue Queensland - Burketown
a tiny spec on the map of outback Queensland.
Isolated during the wet season, baked during
the summer months, Burketown (population 126) has a volunteer air-sea
rescue service which is responsible for a vast area of the Gulf of Carpentaria
approximately the size of Tasmania.
The Air-Sea Rescue is on call 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year.
It is a completely voluntary, non-profit
WE NEED YOUR HELP
We've bought a boat (The Firefly), and have
a shed for our gear, but we desperately need to raise funds.
Functions each Sunday - Barbecue - Liquor
T Shirts and Caps for sale.
Come and have a meal and perhaps a
cool ale with us and swap a few yarns.
We're just up the northern road, on the right
just before the Hospital.
The Firefly is a 7.6 metre Voyager
by Seafarer with dual Yamaha outboards.
It is equipped with Radar, GPS, Depth Sounder
and of course radio, and is capable of better than 45 knots.
The original Firefly had something
of a history - After leaving Burketown, the captain apparently went ashore
at Mornington Island where he walked into the bar. He approached two Chinese
fellows, one of whom was carrying a sword stick ( a weapon which looks
like a walking stick) and asked to see the weapon. He unsheathed it, and
fell upon the sword.
Burketown several years ago
We've had several rescues - some
successful, some not.
On one occasion a local identity ditched his
Cesna somewhere between Burketown and Gove. He and his co-pilot got out
ok with their EPIRB and jackets, but in the darkness and swell the Search
and Rescue were unable to find them, despite having been within a few hundred
metres of them. We called in the RAAF who located them with a helicopter
and winched them to safety after they had spent seven hours in the water.
Those were two very lucky pilots.