Our History

The origins of Volunteer Marine Rescue in Western Australia dates back as far as the early 70's with the establishment of the first Sea Rescue Groups.

Over the years the number of volunteer groups supporting marine rescue throughout the state has grown to an astounding 37 groups. Within these groups there are over 1300 very special individuals that dedicate their time in marine rescue activities; from manning vessels and radio rooms, through to keeping people supplied with meals and hot drinks when needed and raising much needed funds to keep the whole association going.


Volunteeer Marine Rescue WA (VMRWA) as an association was established to enable these groups and individuals to have a common framework of operations and a strong voice when dealing with the community of Western Australia and the Government Bodies which support the role of Marine Rescue.

The leadership group for VMRWA is made up of individuals who are actively involved within individual member groups and bring to the management of the Association, a broad understanding of the role marine rescue plays at all levels within our community.

VMRWA has a strong affiliation and works closely with our partner and governing body The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).


The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is the government department with legislative responsibility for areas such as Fire and Rescue, State Emergency Services,and Volunteer Marine Rescue. DFES was established to improve the coordination and planning of emergency services in Western Australia. It performs a critical role coordinating emergency services for a range of natural disasters and emergency incidents.

The Marine Rescue Services (MRS) section of DFES is responsible for providing administrative and support services for the 37 volunteer groups that come under the DFES Act. These services include training, operational advice, communication strategies; both capital and operational funding and insurance. Information on all services can be found on the DFES website.