In a boating emergency

Radio for help on

Channel 16 on VHF 
(distress and calling channel)

Channel 88 (27.880 MHz) 
on a 27 MHz radio


Call MRNSW on

9450 2468


Or call




MarineRescue App

The new MarineRescue App is making it easier than ever for boaters to Log On, Log Off and stay safe on NSW waters. It's the only app that will connect you directly to Marine Rescue NSW.

News & Media

  • Marine Rescue Ballina volunteers move into new $2.8m home
  • October 07, 2016

Volunteers from Marine Rescue Ballina will move into their new, purpose-built $2.8 million communications tower and unit base today (Friday, October 7).

The volunteers will officially begin operations in the new base at 6am tomorrow, keeping watch over local boaters from the third floor radio room, which has uninterrupted views of the hazardous Richmond River bar and open waters.

Unit Commander John Donohue welcomed the move to the new building, which replaces the unit’s former tower - the ‘leaning tower of Ballina’ - that was closed last September due to safety concerns.

“This is a great day for our unit and our members. We’ve waited a long time for a new facility and this is a spectacular result,” UC Donohue said.

“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has worked with us to reach this milestone in our unit’s history, particularly Ballina Shire Council, the State and Federal Governments and Marine Rescue NSW, who contributed funding for the project.

“Ballina MP Tamara Smith, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Mayor David Wright and the Council personnel, particularly project coordinator Chris Allison, also deserve thanks for their ongoing support and contribution. The Ballina community has always generously supported our fundraising activities and as a result, we were able to contribute up to $150,000 for the high-quality fit-out.

“The building has an array of the latest technology for our work to help keep boaters safe on our local waterways and is perfectly located to provide our radio operators with a direct line of vision of boaters as they are crossing the bar.”

The tower, destined to become a local landmark with its distinctive brickwork and commanding waterside location, was designed by architects Dominic Finlay Jones and built by Woollam Constructions in a project coordinated by Ballina Shire Council.

It has dedicated training and administration areas and secure storage for rescue equipment.

It contains a suite of new radio, communications, computer and camera technology and is linked via the internet to the central Marine Rescue NSW radio network, so communications can continue to be monitored if there is a local interruption, such as a loss of power or storm damage to infrastructure.

UC Donohue said the new base and advanced technology would boost the unit’s service to the community but its core safety messages for boaters remained the same: always wear your lifejacket whenever you’re on board, Log On with Marine Rescue and know how to use your marine radio.

“Boaters should always use Channel 16 to call the base to Log On and Log Off or for help in an emergency, rather than the Port Operations VHF Channel 14 or VHF Channel 19, which many have used in the past. This is the quickest way to get help in an emergency,” he said.

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