Volunteers from Victoria's marine search and rescue (MSAR) sector recently volunteered their time, with more than 30 attending our annual MSAR conference at the Victorian Emergency Management Institute (VEMI) in Mount Macedon.
They represented 15 of Victoria's marine search and rescue units and flotillas, including:
Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association flotillas:
- Port Welshpool
- Western Port
- Safety Beach
- St Kilda
- Southern Peninsula Rescue Squad
- Apollo Bay Ocean Rescue.
Life Saving Victoria club:
- Waratah Marine Rescue.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Victoria Police and Safe Transport Victoria helped us give an overview of the importance of MSAR’s role in waterway and boating safety.
All participants contributed to a discussion about MSAR reform of the past six years. Together we discussed and explored the 2016 government response that detailed the reform requirements.
The group also explored current barriers and challenges facing MSAR volunteers. A focus was future requirements to sustain the volunteer MSAR sector in the long term. This will help shape programs to develop and grow the sector.
Former Victoria Police investigator Narelle Fraser spoke about the importance of teamwork and mental health in an emergency services environment.
Outcomes of the conference will help the sector continue to deliver high quality services to the community, as it has for decades.