Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Australia's search and rescue system

Australia’s search and rescue service

Australia’s search and rescue (SAR) service is framed by the federated nature of the country, bringing together the strengths of the Commonwealth and States and Territories in a collaborative and cooperative arrangement.

Australia’s search and rescue system

Australia is signatory to a number of international conventions that obligate the nation to provide search and rescue services.

Australia's size, sparse population, economic reliance on sea and air transport, and our active lifestyle present a range of challenges for meeting our SAR responsibilities. These challenges are often realised in Australia's very remote areas, and the vast oceans within our broader search and rescue region.

Australia must be able to respond wherever people venture, whether by boat, aircraft, vehicle or on foot, and provide an effective SAR service to anyone in distress.

Australia’s system is guided by the National SAR (NATSAR) Council, which is committed to maintaining formal arrangements built on strong relationships to provide an effective SAR service.

Related information

Read more about the National Search and Rescue Council.

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