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

  • NSW Police join on-water agencies to prioritise safety as 2016 boating season gets underway
  • October 07, 2016

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter CEO Steve Leahy, MRNSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey, NSW Police Marine Area Commander Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings, NSW Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent and NSW Maritime Executive Director Angus Mitchell.

NSW Police Force joined representatives from Roads and Maritime Services, Marine Rescue NSW, Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter and Surf Life Saving NSW to prioritise safety as the 2016 boating season continues.

The boating season officially kicked off last weekend, which saw police officers from Marine Area Command as well as Roads and Maritime Boating Safety Officers patrolling the waterways to ensure the community enjoyed their on-water activities safely.

Marine Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings, said police are prioritising safety this boating season and they will continue to target dangerous or anti-social activity across the state to ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the waterways.

“Representatives from all agencies have presented a united front this morning to remind all those who may be boating, fishing or enjoying a day at the beach as summer approaches, to please do so safely,” Det Supt Hutchings said.

“Police will be out and about throughout the season to enforce maritime laws, conduct safety checks on vessels, inspect size and bag limits of fish and check boat licences.

“In addition, police are focused on jet ski riders to ensure they’re enjoying the sport safely. We’ve had reports of dangerous riding and near collisions in the past and we will not tolerate those who engage in risky behaviour that jeopardises the safety of others,” Det Supt Hutchings said.

Marine Area Command officers will also be doing random breath tests while conducting high-visibility patrols of the waterways.

“The same drink-driving laws apply on the water as on land – the legal limit is 0.05 – but of course it is better not to drink if you’re getting behind the wheel,” Det Supt Hutchings said.

“During our most recent compliance operation for the long weekend, we were pleased to see most people doing the right thing; however, there were some who had failed to carry out simply safety checks and we also intercepted a boater over the legal blood alcohol limit.

“Skippers are reminded that they are responsible for the safety of everyone on board their vessel and the most important piece of safety equipment you have on board is a lifejacket. I urge everyone to ensure you’re wearing yours before heading out onto the water this season – it could very well save your life.”

NSW Maritime Executive Director Angus Mitchell said with the boating season underway Roads and Maritime Services will work closely with NSW Police to ensure everyone can enjoy their time out on the NSW waterways.

“Roads and Maritime Services is also hosting six Boating Safety Days across NSW in conjunction with Gone Fishing NSW Day on Sunday 16 October,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Everybody is invited to attend between 10am and 3pm on Sunday 16 October to get in on interactive talks, safety equipment demonstrations and to enter the boating safety competition for their chance to win great prizes filled with essential boating safety equipment.”

Marine Rescue NSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey urged boaters to conduct maintenance checks on their vessels before heading out onto the water this summer.

“When carrying out a check of your boat, make sure it also includes all the safety equipment on board, especially if it’s been off the water over winter. Always check the weather and water conditions before you head out, and throughout the day,” he said.

“Make it a safety rule that everyone on board always wears their lifejacket. Emergencies can happen quickly on the water and you don’t want to be scrambling to find your lifejacket if you’re in trouble.

“We encourage boaters to ‘Log On’ with Marine Rescue NSW when heading out by radioing your nearest MRNSW base or using the MarineRescue mobile application to advise when you’re leaving, where you’re heading, how many people are on board and when you expect to return.

“This free service gives you the peace of mind of knowing someone responsible is looking out for you so you can get on with enjoying your day.”

NSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent, said he’s looking forward to another productive year working closely with other emergency services.

“Generally we respond to incidents that occur at river mouths and dangerous bar crossings close to shore. As always our assets are available as interagency cooperation is something we strongly believe in, to ensure the safety of the community.

“From an inshore perspective our key safety message is for everyone to make the effort to swim between the red and yellow flags. In the 2015/16 season 66 per cent of all coastal drowning deaths occurred in waters more than 5km away from the nearest lifesaving service. This obviously concerns lifesavers as it delays our chance of getting to you if you get into difficulty.

“There were 53 coastal drowning incidents in NSW in 2015/16, which is simply unacceptable. We want everyone to be able to enjoy their time at the beach and on the water safely.”

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter CEO, Steve Leahy, said while we understand accidents can happen simple safety checks and exercising personal responsibility can go a long way in preventing any incident from occurring.

“We have some of the best emergency services in the world, so the community and visitors to NSW can be confident in their capabilities to respond to any on-water issue this summer,” Mr Leahy said.

“We are well prepared for any contingency and will continue to work closely together to ensure you enjoy your time on the water throughout the boating season.”

More information on Marine Area Command can be found on their Facebook page:

To find more information and boating safety tips, visit

Further information about fishing and aquaculture is available at:


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