Marine Search and Rescue

Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) in Victoria is moving forward with significant change taking place within the sector to make it more collaborative, effective and sustainable.

Implementing a new direction for the marine search and rescue sector provides a significant opportunity to build on past achievement and set a long-term vision aligned with our “we work as one” approach.

You can find the following helpful resources and information on this site, including; 

Marine Search and Rescue in Victoria

    In response to the 2014 Parliamentary Inquiry into Marine Rescue Services in Victoria (External link), the State Government outlined a plan titled the 2015 State Government Response (External link) to improve the effectiveness of the marine search and rescue sector, build capability, and better support volunteers.

    Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley was appointed by the government in February 2016 to implement a new direction for MSAR in Victoria. Victoria Police will remain the control agency responsible for the coordination of marine search and rescue.

    The reform process aims to:

    • Establish new accountable governance arrangement that enables volunteer marine search and rescue providers to contribute to the decision-making process;
    • Develop the MSAR Office to provide a coordinated and collaborative approach to develop strategies, policies and programs; and
    • Introduce common standards and training across the industry to ensure safe and consistent delivery and enable marine search and rescue units to work together during operations.

    The progress so far:

    The highlights include:

    1. Establishment of the MSAR Arrangements, which came out of the Initial Reform Work Plan (External link). This describes the operational arrangements of the sector, and was created in collaboration with volunteer MSAR providers, Victoria Police, and Transport Safety Victoria.
    2. The Reform Plan was shared and discussed with the community through Regional Forums in Traralgon, Colac and Port Melbourne in 2016.  The 2017 round of Regional Forums (External link)will be held at the same locations, with a focus on the status and future plans of the reform process.  All interested parties are invited to attend.  For more information about the issues discussed at the first forums, please download the following presentations: Introduction (External link) (PDF) and Regional Forums (External link) (PDF).
    3. Establishment of the MSAR Office to provide a coordinated and collaborative approach to the development of strategy, policies and programs. Wes Oswin is the Manager of MSAR Office and will be developing governance structures and an implementation plan to address the current challenges within the sector. 
    4. Secured funding for a managed insurance scheme by the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency for approved MSAR service providers for 2016-17.

      To keep up to date with the latest information please subscribe to the MSAR eNews. (External link)

      Marine Search and Rescue eNews

      The MSAR eNews will be published monthly. If you have any stories or photos to add to the newsletter you can email them to (External link).

      Anyone is welcome to subscribe to the newsletter. (External link)