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Marine Search and Rescue

Keeping Victorians safe on and around the water

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Volunteer with MSAR

If you are over the age of 16 and interested in becoming a Marine Search and Rescue Volunteer, find out how to join our community of over 900 volunteers statewide. 

About us

Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) units across the state play an extremely important role in the safety of boaters around Victoria's coastline, out at sea, and in many of our inland waterways.

MSAR rescue crews are made up entirely of dedicated volunteers, who are trained to operate vessels to the National Commercial Vessel standards. These standards are governed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Units are called upon to:

  • locate and provide emergency assistance to sinking vessels, vessels with flat batteries and other mechanical problems, or vessels that have run aground
  • respond in search of missing persons on the water and rescue those in trouble in marine environments, and
  • perform medical evacuation responses in some emergency cases.

Some units fall under parent organisations such as the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Life Saving Victoria, or the State Emergency Service (SES) while several independent units are stand-alone organisations.

MSAR respond to 900 marine incidents each year and is made up of:

  • 900+ volunteers
  • 17 Australia Volunteer Coast Guard flotillas
  • 7 Independent MSAR units
  • 2 Life Saving Victoria clubs
  • 1 State Emergency Service unit
  • 48 marine response vessels from small runabouts to large offshore vessels
  • 27 marine response locations.

Most MSAR units are concentrated within Port Phillip Bay and along Victoria’s Coastline at key boating locations. Two inland MSAR units operate in Victoria, Lake Hume Coast Guard and Lake Eppalock Coast Guard.

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Our aim

Keeping Victorians safe on and around the water: A marine search and rescue response service that goes beyond the call for help to support community. 

What we offer

The range of services we offer includes: 

  • marine search and rescue
  • marine radio monitoring
  • public education (including marine license, marine radio license and coast navigation)
  • volunteer development
  • involvement in community events
  • memorial services.

Where we are

Use the navigation below to visit our locations page and find out more about our MSAR units across the state.

Become a MSAR volunteer

Use the navigation link below to learn more about our volunteers and how you can become a volunteer at one of our MSAR units.