The game fishing boat Gorilla is an annual visitor to Port Douglas between September and December each year. This year they have decided to give something back to the community that has been a home away from home for the past four years by donating two new GME 27 MHz radios and two Icom VHF radios to Coast Guard Port Douglas for their radio base. “We always have a wonderful time here and it is nice to help out the community, “ said Gorilla’s owner David Denneen.
A representative of Gorilla Game Fishing, Simon Denneen, is no stranger to marine rescue, having been a volunteer for the past ten years and was instrumental in the formation of Marine Rescue New South Wales which brings together the three volunteer groups in that state. “I know first-hand how challenging it can be to raise funds just to operate, let alone purchasing new equipment like these radios. Marine rescue volunteers all over Australia work tirelessly to provide a great service – some with minimal government funding – and I am really glad we can help out the volunteers at Coast Guard Port Douglas, who do a wonderful job.”
The radios, which include an Icom M651 Class A Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Very High Frequency (VHF) radio, are brand new and will vastly improve the group’s current capability. The Flotilla Commander of Coast Guard Port Douglas, Jeffrey Anderson, was enthusiastic about the donation, “we have been hoping to renovate our radio room and these radios will be a big help. Once a technician has installed the radios, our base will be one of the first in Far North Queensland with a VHF DSC capability.”
“Gorilla Game Fishing’s donation not only helps the volunteers but will allow boat operators – like ourselves – to have greater peace of mind that they will be heard when they need help,” added Simon Denneen.
The donation came just in time for the inaugural Port Douglas Marlin Challenge which will saw an influx in game fishing vessels to Port Douglas. The tag and release only tournament – believed to be one of the first in Australia – was held between 11 and 16 November 2010.