ON THE RADIO: Jim Purcell, of Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone, is proud of his groups’ work towards safe boating in the region.
ON THE RADIO: Jim Purcell, of Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone, is proud of his groups’ work towards safe boating in the region. Luka Kauzlaric

Calm voice of VMR is music to fishermen’s ears

VOLUNTEER Marine Rescue Gladstone has provided assistance about 120 times to boat operators annually since 1971.

Long-time member and radio operator Jim Purcell is known locally as the voice of the harbour and of the Boyne Tannum HookUp.

When he's not being heard on channels 16 and 82 administering calm advice and local knowledge to uncertain vessel operators, he's chatting to locals and visitors from afar.

"Down at the HookUp, I talk to strangers to our area and help them out with advice about wind against tide, the importance of getting kids to wear life jackets, clean fuel and how to keep safe in green zones," he said.

At 85 years of age, Mr Purcell is modest about his contribution, which began when he joined in 1975.

"Oh, I've been interested in the sea all my life.

"It's not about what I get out of it; it's about what I put in."

Mr Purcell said VMR sessions were mainly about keeping people safe on the water.

"The Gladstone region is a very different area," he said.

"There are coral reefs that aren't visible at high tide that can make the water a lot more dangerous."

The Gladstone VMR is responsible for an area of 7000 sq nautical miles.



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