Marine Search and Rescue - Volunteer with us

Find out the benefits of becoming an MSAR volunteer

If you are 16 or over and have an interest in serving your community, there are lots of different roles available on and off the water, such as:

  • rescue boat crews
  • marine radio operators
  • educators
  • administration
  • maintenance
  • fund raising
  • public relations
  • and more.

All members of the community are welcome to join MSAR.

Time commitment of volunteers

Apart from set meetings and events, the time you volunteer is often flexible and fluctuating, and will depend on:

  • your role
  • your unit, and
  • the time of year.

This means that you can spend time with us around your work and family commitments. Your local unit will be able to advise on which roles require more or less time.

Experience and fitness expectation

MSAR units are made of volunteers from all stages and walks of life. Many of them have no prior experience with boating or search and rescue.

Why volunteer with MSAR

Marine Search and Rescue Volunteers sign up to our units for a variety of reasons including to:

  • gain experience on water
  • share knowledge and skills
  • learn skills to national training standards
  • spend time on Marine Search and Rescue vessels
  • be part of a team
  • engage, connect and assist their local community.

MSAR Training

In addition to our marine search and rescue responsibilities, we provide extensive training and exercising in a wide range of marine and vessel handling skills. All vessel operations and training is compliant with the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012.

This means MSAR vessel crew and masters are trained and assessed to national competency standards.

Volunteers can use this training and sea time to attain AMSA's commercial vessel operator competencies.

The types of training we offer are:

  • vessel handling skills
  • radio operator training
  • seamanship and navigation training
  • search and rescue techniques
  • vessel towing operations
  • search and rescue exercises
  • first aid.

Share your love of the ocean and boating activities with others whilst helping your community to stay safe.

Volunteer testimony

Andrew Allen is a Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Flight Paramedic educator. Watch the video below to find out how Andrew uses skills he learned as an MSAR volunteer, to improve his professional career.

Start your volunteer journey

To submit an expression of interest, follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Head to our unit locations page.
  2. Find the MSAR unit you'd like to join.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to head to your unit's website to submit your details.

You can also contact our MSAR head office by email: if you have any other questions.

Find your unit