Chronological History


The first volunteer sea rescue groups were established or forming at various locations in WA.


A State representative body, Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue Association (WA) was formed (VSSRA).


By this time, there were 25 Volunteer Marine Rescue groups established in WA. The groups were set up under their own constitutions as incorporated associations, so they were created as individual organisations to meet local needs. The activities and functions of each group varied according to location and strength. All groups were members of VSSRA and were encouraged to attend or be represented at VSSRA council meetings.


The Marine Emergency Management Scheme (MEMS) was established. This scheme detailed the management arrangements for Marine search and rescue within the scope of State responsibility under Commonwealth/State arrangements. Under the scheme the responsiblity for development, maintenance and implementation of the scheme was allocated to the WA Marine Search and Rescue Co-ordinating Committee. VSSRA has representatives on this committee.


23 groups adopt the use of the VMR block of radio call signs across the state.

There were significant differences between the metropolitan and regional volunteer marine rescue organisations which resulted in the formation of Two Representative bodies. The Metropolitan groups formed the West Coast Marine Search and Rescue Association. The Regional groups formed Volunteer Marine Rescue WA (VMRWA).


The Minister for Police and Emergency Services transferred coordination of marine rescue from the WA Police services to the newly forming Fire and Emergency Services Authority. The Police remained the Hazard Management Authority (HMA).


Formal recognition of the Marine Rescue Service as an Emergecy Service was incorporated into the Fire and Emergency Service Act. All VMRWA groups moved under the umbrella of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority.


VMRWA was invited to nominate a representative to the FESA board, and the VMR Consultative Committee was formed. VMRWA also formulated its first formal Strategic Plan.