QNI Saves Lives!
Queensland Nickel Industries (QNI) is part of the BHP Billiton group and is one of the largest operations in our region. QNI plays a major role in developing our local community.
In 2000, QNI donated a VHF land based radio/receiver to the Balgal Beach Boating & Leisure Club. Contact is made via Channel 16. The radio was installed at Fisherman’s Landing Kiosk, an establishment run by Dick Charleston, Vice President of the club. The purpose of the radio is to provide local information to club members. The Townsville and Ingham branches of the Volunteer Coast Guard are responsible for local boating saftey.
Most weekends approximately 50 boats put to sea at the adjacent boat ramp. It is estimated by the Coast Guard that over 20,000 craft per year pass through the region's waters.
Prior to QNI's donation, the only contact with boats from The Landing was via a 27MHz radio receiver, a type of radio that is not used by all boats. QNI's VHF system enabled the club to contact all seagoing vessels.
Since the installation of the VHF system, Dick has initiated and been involved in 22 SAR (search and rescue) actions involving 58 people with an estimated property value of $2 million. Of the 58 people, 10 were QNI employees or contractors.
In addition to the SAR actions, the club has worked with Coast Watch on 3 ‘incidents’ involving illegal activities.
For further information about safe boating, contact the Townsville Volunteer Coast Guard on 4771 4831.