First female skipper makes history
IN a first for Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone, a female skipper has taken the helm.
Andrea Hindle has been with VMR since arriving in Gladstone in 2010.
Before moving to Gladstone, Ms Hindle was land-based but upon arrival decided to learn something about the water.
Ms Hindle originally became a radio controller with VMR.
Before long she had transitioned to boat crew and set her sights on being a skipper.
But the path wasn't easy. Ms Hindle completed shipboard safety, competent crew and coxswains courses to claim the new position.
"It's been a little hard but I feel very proud of what I've achieved and many of our skippers have mentored me through the years.
"I'm very thankful for their expertise," she said.
Ms Hindle is part of a team who go out when boaties find themselves in trouble on the water.
The team is rostered on every five weeks but Ms Hindle helps out whenever she can.
"I'm here to give back to the community in whatever way it is and I enjoy what I do," Ms Hindle said.
VMR Gladstone publicity officer Peter Cameron said it was a big achievement and the organisation appreciated the work Ms Hindle put in.
"Andrea's taken up that challenge and she's achieved it," he said.
"It just shows that someone with skills and ability can achieve anything."
VMR is always looking for new members and Mr Cameron hopes its new skipper encourages people to join.
"Anyone with the skills and dedication are welcome," he said.