AFTER a scary close encounter during a boating accident, David and Eve Malone know first hand the importance of having services like the Volunteer Marine Rescue around.
Over the hook-up weekend the pair were in a serious collision, leaving them both physically and mentally scarred when their boat collided with another, creating a gaping hole in the hull of their boat.
Eve said if they were just 20km further, their boat would have sunk.
"We were towards the end of Facing Island heading out to the reef," she said.
"We turned the boat into the sun and collided directly with an anchored boat that we just didn't see.
"It all happened in about five seconds, which is how quickly something can go wrong. We were lucky we made it back without sinking, or sinking the other boat but if we were any further out we wouldn't have made it."
The experience, still raw in the Malone couple's minds, has them determined to raise awareness of the Gladstone VMR and the lifesaving work they do by hosting a social fishing competition this weekend.
As admin of Facebook page Gladstone Fishing Network along with Scott Moody and Tim Newland, Dave and Eve said all of the proceeds raised on the weekend will go towards VMR.
"It's a lot like the hook-up but it will be a lot smaller," Eve said.
"Basically there will be a few different categories to win prizes for the biggest catch, and there no boundaries to where you can fish. You can launch anywhere but there will be set times for weigh ins.
Weigh ins will be from 10 am - 12 noon Saturday and Sunday, as well as 2 pm - 4 pm both days also.
The categories include estuary fishing, reef fishing, brag mat species, four mystery weight categories, overall senior male and female biggest catch, as well as overall junior male and female catch.
The winner overall, which has its own category will taking home a hand-held GPS worth over $500, donated by Curtis Coast Marine.
"The mystery weights category will be interesting as we the judges will pick four certain weights. This could be a very small bream that wouldn't usually win in a weigh in, but will win if it makes it closest to a certain weight we decide on," Eve said.
"Which is why the competition is great for everyone, even the kids for their smaller catches.
"The whole point is to show the VMR how greatly appreciated is the work they do by supporting them and raising money for the organisation so they can keep it up."
Some of the other prizes donated by sponsors of the event include fishing shirts, lures, stinger hooks and tackle, fishing rod combo's, BBQ gear, back packs, vouchers and more.
To register for the event, see Eve at the VMR centre tonight from 4.30 pm, or Friday from 3 pm onwards.
"I'll be missing out on the fishing fun and will be sitting at VMR all weekend, so people can register whenever they like throughout Saturday and Sunday.
"There is no registration fee as such, just a small donation towards the VMR would be greatly appreciated."
For more information, visit the Facebook page, Gladstone Fishing Network.
FISH IN EACH CATEGORY:
Mackerel (any species)
Brag mat species
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