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

  • New $240,000 radio safety net protects North Coast boaters
  • January 09, 2018

A new $240,000 marine radio safety net is helping protect boaters on the Northern NSW coastline this summer.

Marine Rescue NSW has upgraded North Coast communications infrastructure and technology to overcome a radio blackspot on the coast between Iluka-Yamba and Wooli and boost its around-the-clock monitoring capability.

The project has seen new remote VHF radios, microwave links and an Automatic Identification System receiver installed on Clarence Peak, south-west of Yamba, along with new computerised communications equipment at the Marine Rescue Iluka Yamba radio base.

MRNSW Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey said boaters taking to the water in the popular summer holiday region would benefit.

“This is a significant improvement in boating safety for the Northern Rivers region. It will ultimately help us save lives on the water,” he said.

“The infrastructure upgrade on Clarence Peak is part of a coordinated project to eliminate radio blackspots on the North Coast and Mid North Coast, enabling Mayday and other distress calls to be received clearly.

“This means that in the event of an emergency, MRNSW and our water safety partners can swiftly mount a search and rescue operation.”

The comprehensive project, also involving installations near Forster, Port Macquarie and South West Rocks, is being funded through a $750,000 State Government communications grant.

The elevated Clarence Peak infrastructure receives radio communications from boaters on the water, relaying them to the nearby MR Iluka-Yamba radio base on Moriartys Wall at Iluka. The work is complemented by new IT equipment installed in the radio base.

MR Iluka Yamba Unit Commander Frank Bond welcomed the new installations as a great boost for boating safety, just in time for the peak holiday season.


“We now have the very latest in marine radio communications equipment, which enables our radio operators to monitor radio calls and talk to boaters across a wider area of coastline,” he said.


“The new infrastructure means the reception is stronger and clearer and the linked system also enables VHF 16 radio calls to be monitored 24/7 across the central MRNSW communications network.”


Mr Bond encouraged all boaters to log on with Marine Rescue NSW by marine radio, telephone or the free MarineRescue app.


“If a boater needs to talk to Marine Rescue, whether they’re in trouble and need help or they want to  Log On or Log Off, they should call us on VHF Channel 16, which is the international calling and distress channel,” he said.

“Making the initial call on VHF 16 ensures that not only Marine Rescue can hear you but also others in the area. This increases the chance that a nearby boat can reach you quickly to help in an emergency.

“This is a good time to also think about upgrading your marine radio to VHF if you don’t already have one. This will go a long way to increasing your safety as the modern VHF radios come equipped with AIS, which enables rescue crews to pinpoint your location.”

Mr Bond also encouraged boaters to join the MR Iluka Yamba Radio Club to support the unit’s volunteers and their life-saving operations.


“We always welcome new volunteers, too. We provide professional training for your roles, whether you’re interested in becoming a radio operator or a rescue vessel crew member,” he said.


“Feel free to drop by our base, which is open seven days, or call us on 6646 6311 to find out more about joining our team of volunteers saving lives on the water.”


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