The Tight Lines Fishing Classic has been conducted successfully by Coast Guard Yeppoon, with generous support from local sponsors for eight years. Unfortunately the Coast Guard has been forced to cancel the event for 2017, although it may be possible to restore it in future years.

Coast Guard Yeppoon wishes to assure local boat owners and Marine Assist contributors that it is fully committed to providing a 24/7 marine rescue service on the Capricorn Coast, together with flotillas at Keppel Sands, Rockhampton and Thirsty Sound. There will be no interruption to normal service for boat owners, which also includes monitoring VHF radio and provision of radio licence, coastal navigation and safe boating courses. These are the primary responsibilities of the Coast Guard and it is regretted that the Fishing Classic cannot be organised this year.

A combination of factors has led to this decision:

  • The downturn in the local economy makes it harder to attract the necessary sponsorship to fund the event.
  • Despite the success of the 2016 event in a new location, lower numbers of entrants in recent years meant that additional resources would be required to ensure a successful event this year.
  • There has been a heavy workload for the Coast Guard in the first months of the year with an unusual number of major operations and training exercises, leading to volunteer fatigue. The organisation of a three-day event requires months of preparation.
  • While the Coast Guard has attracted a significant number of new volunteers recently, the resulting training schedule imposes a heavy workload on experienced members who then do not have time for fundraising activities.

Coast Guard Yeppoon appreciates past support from local sponsors and is keen to retain the support of existing and new local sponsors to fund this essential marine rescue service. The four Coast Guard flotillas in Central Queensland underpin a significant recreational boating industry and need financial support to provide this service. The ongoing support by Marine Assist contributors is also vital to provide funding for vessel maintenance, training and operations.