Marine Search and Rescue annual report 2020-21

Over 2020-21, in the face of constant challenges brought about by interruptions and lockdowns, Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) volunteers have continued to provide dedicated service to communities and maintained professional service delivery.

For many years now, volunteers have undertaken approximately 65% of all marine incident responses and their commitment to community safety is humbling to observe.

When reflecting upon service, we typically focus on the statistics and known incidents as a reference point for the effort attributed to the service. What we don’t always focus on is the impressive and significant time our 28 volunteer MSAR organisations spend on training, maintenance, administration, logistics, supporting colleagues, and other duties that help support communities. Volunteers do so much more than just Search and Rescue.

The Victorian MSAR Sector at a glance

  • 864 passionate MSAR volunteers
  • 48 response vessels in the fleet (including 13 state-owned vessels, 6 of which were acquired in 2020-2021)
  • 28 extraordinary volunteer organisations
  • 960 marine incidents responded to this year, including:
    • 746 vessel disablements
    • 43 groundings
    • 36 instances of people in trouble
    • 1 sinking, 3 swampings and 2 fires


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