World's best practice for coordinating International Aeronautical and
Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) is described in the International Maritime
Organization's IAMSAR Manual. The Nations of the World take on responsibility
for coordination in their dedicated zone. In Australian zone, AUSSAR,
a section of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), has overall
SAR responsibility, but for small craft this is devolved to State based
emergency response agencies and organisations.
differ in each State, but in New South Wales the State Emergency and
Rescue Management (SERM) Act, 1989 (as amended), defines 'rescue' as
the safe removal of persons or domestic animals from actual or threatened
danger of physical harm. Marine rescue includes the locating of vessels,
in distress at sea or in sheltered waters and bringing the vessels and
their occupants to safety, if that is not feasible then rescuing the
occupants and bringing them to safety. In NSW, the Police Force (Marine
Area Command) is the authority responsible for arranging and coordinating
marine search and rescue operations for pleasure and fishing vessels
at sea, unregistered aircraft, persons missing in a coastal environment,
persons and vessels on inland waters and all non military vessels in
port. As in other States, volunteer marine search and rescue organizations
provide vital assistance to emergency management agencies at the local
such volunteer marine search and rescue organizations provide radio
safety services. They provide local Marine Radio Bases (MRB's for radio
communication only), Marine Rescue Units (MRU's for tasking SAR vessels)
or Search and Rescue Coordination Centres (SARCC's for SAR coordination).
They also support other SAR agencies to preserve life, safety of the
public, property and its members. They engage in public education for
safer boating and advocate on behalf of marine rescue with authorities.
They train their members to the standard required by relevant authorities.
Marine rescue volunteers juggle the commitments of home and work to
manage, fund and realize these aims for their local community. While
some volunteers dedicate years to service, many are only briefly able
to train and usefully contribute.
reference is made to the Australian National Training Packages for Coastal
Maritime Operations (commercial craft operators) and Public Safety (emergency
service operators) no global suit of skills fits all. This site approaches
training from bottom up, starting at MRU initial risk mitigation before
advancing through a safety management system (SMS) to national certification
that is compliant to the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).
It suggests a methodolgy with example resources for in service trainers
to focus on emergency risk management, competence by priority and ultimate
inter service continuity (promoting standard operating procedures, SOPs).
It does not speak for other SAR agencies and organisations that have
existing training programs leading to rank and responsibility. Those
programs must be addressed by trainers and trainees.
participation in operations, three stages of readiness can be identified:
Preparedness through fitness, initial induction & safety training.
to engage in operational training level)
are recruited from many demographs including young persons yet to take
on starting a young family and those retired or no longer in full time
employment. They are a rare and valued asset particularly in lowly populated
rural areas. High fitness and prerequisite literacy/numeracy expectations
that are unduly restrictive can starve an organisation of recruits.
However Workplace Health and Safety duty of care remains a responsibility
of all levels of management. Ensuring effective implementation falls
heavily on the immediate supervisors in a particular workplace. The
initial induction will ensure MRU crews are trained to deal with the
workplace hazards including fitness to swim an appropriate distance,
exposure, survival on sinking, engage in their tasked vessel's operations
and emergencies (SMS), apply SOP's and use communication equipment.
The generic pre sea skills set of STCW95 or training packages are not
focussed on locality specific marine rescue operations (that by their
nature are unique), so initial training will have to address the gaps
to meet the workplace duty of care. Similarly, for MRB's and SARCC's
both the unique physical hazards of the workplace (access, fatigue and
risk of electrocution) in addition to radio base policy and operations
will need to be addressed at initial training.
Trained to operate for local priorities, responsibilities & risks.
(assist or supervise in local operations level)
Australian SAR zone encompasses the Southern Ocean to the Tropics. Local
MRU's and SARCC's operate in diverse conditions; from the country's
busiest harbours, over treacherous river bars, off storm beaches, along
remote coastlines and in alpine lakes and inland watercourses. Local
knowledge and skill to address local priorities are their greatest strength
along with strategically placed assets suitable for the task, including
vehicles, aircraft, PWCs, IRB's, RIB's and displacement craft.
thorough training in ships lights and buoyage will be of high priority
to rescue squads based in busy commercial ports but less pressing for
squads operating RIB's over river bars or in IRB's off storm beaches.The
second thrust of training should stem from a risk assessed job description
addressing the local squads priority operations.
Competent to National Standards to engage at a determined rank.
or manage any operations level)
final goal of training is to meet nationally consistent competencies,
as described by rank, to enable seamless flexibility when Volunteer
Marine SAR operators are needed to cooperate in inter service operations,
disaster or National emergencies.This concept approach to planning training
is demonstrated in the layered cake, built with a solid base and decorated
with icing on the top.
Note - This web site is for information only, is not endorsed and does
not speak for SAR agencies and organisations
that have existing training programs leading to their organisations
ranks and responsibility. Those programs by approved SAR agencies must
be followed by trainers and trainees.