QBFP launches new patrol boat and celebrates 40-year career

News release | 25-Jun-2021

In a twin celebration, Queensland’s Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) has launched a new patrol boat, and honoured a veteran officer’s long and distinguished career with the service.

QBFP South Coast District Manager Rob McDonald said the “Oyster Catcher” had joined the QBFP’s fleet as part of a vessel replacement program, as veteran officer Mark Saul celebrated 40 years in the job.

“Named after the well-known shorebird, the ‘Oyster Catcher’ joins QBFP’s 19-strong fleet of 4.3 metre Quintrex runabouts which are ideally suited to the important work they perform in helping QBFP officers make sure fishers are doing the right thing and following the rules,” Mr McDonald said.

“Operating out of the QBFP’s South Coast region, the boat’s name recognises that oystercatchers, just like QBFP patrol officers, are found along the east coast of Queensland.

“Additionally nearly all species of oystercatcher are often seen in pairs, just like patrol officers who generally work with one partner at any one time.

“And just like the different species of oystercatcher, which show little variation in shape or appearance, the QBFP’s fleet of 4.3 metre Quintrex runabouts all look the same.”

Mr McDonald said, although a coincidence, launching ‘Oyster Catcher’s’ career was a fitting way to celebrate the distinguished 40-year career of Southport-based QBFP Officer Mark Saul.

“Since joining the QBFP in 1981, when it was under the banner of Harbours and Marine and brown uniforms were the order of the day, Mark has made a truly exceptional contribution,” Mr McDonald.

“Without doubt, Mark’s greatest contribution has been his ongoing development and stewardship of the Marine Animal Rescue Team (MART) for the past two decades.

“Mark’s tireless efforts have seen the MART program and its members achieve national recognition as leaders in the field, thanks largely to his efforts to ensure the team remains professional, relevant, highly skilled and safe at all times, while responding to marine animals in distress.

“Mark has also contributed to the patrol’s workplace health and safety program, is a valued mentor, and helps to build a healthy culture as the QBFP’s official Social Club barbeque cook.

“Celebrating a ‘ruby’ anniversary is a truly special achievement and one which Mark can be justifiably proud of.”

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Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au