Marine Rescue NSW is your companion on the water. When you’re in trouble, we’re the ones you know you can call for help.

Our mission is saving lives on the water.

The boating community on NSW waterways can be confident that when they call for help in an emergency, a professionally trained and equipped crew will be quickly under way. In our first decade, our crews were responsible for ensuring that more 50,000 boaters made it safely home to their families and friends.

Our people are our greatest strength, with more than 3,000 skilled and committed volunteers in 45 rescue units, backed with world-class assets and training.


Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Alex Barrell has led the organisation since his appointment in April, 2023.

In addition to his long serving career with the NSW Police Force and executive roles at NSW Maritime, Alex has held the position of Deputy Commissioner Operations and Capability at Marine Rescue NSW since October 2020.

Commissioner Alex Barrell addresses members about plans for Marine Rescue NSW

“My focus will be continuing to enhance our reputation, growing our membership and improving our assets and infrastructure right across the state working towards our recently released strategic direction and striving for ‘One Marine Rescue’ will be key.

Most importantly, my focus will be on recognising and supporting our members and staff making sure Marine Rescue is a place where members want to give their time and a supported to do so.”

Marine Rescue NSW has 33 staff employed to steer the organisation’s development and support our volunteers.

Twenty-five of the staff work at the State Headquarters in a range of professional specialities, including operational, fleet and financial management, IT development, emergency systems management, training development, stores management and corporate communications. Six Regional Operations Managers coordinate operational tasking, response and coordination and support local units, while three Regional Training Managers guide development, service delivery and assessment in two regions each.

Corporate Governance

The strategic leadership of the organisation is vested in the elected Board of Directors, comprising three General Directors and six Regional Directors.

As a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, Marine Rescue NSW is a registered charity and complies with the requirements of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012, the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 and the Corporations Act 2001.

We are grateful for the generous financial support we receive from the NSW Government and the boating community of NSW but we also rely on the energetic fundraising activities of our volunteers, grants, sponsors and donors to help keep us rescue-ready.

ABN: 98 138 078 092.  CFN: 21153.

Operational authority

Unlike most emergency services, Marine Rescue NSW is not a State Government agency but an independent not-for-profit organisation. We are recognised in and operate under the auspices of the NSW State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 and Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law).

We report to the NSW Minister for Emergency Services.

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib

“When you’re enjoying our waterways, it’s quite likely that the first line of defence, the first operational capability that may come to you in the event that you’re in trouble, will be a volunteer.”

Marine Rescue NSW is represented on both the NSW State Rescue Board and State Emergency Management Committee, the State’s peak bodies for the development of rescue and emergency policy development, coordination and management.

The NSW Police Force Marine Area Command has legislative responsibility for the coordination of rescue operations on NSW waterways. Marine Rescue NSW works closely with MAC on both operations and joint training activities.

We also work with a range of other State and Federal operational and regulatory agencies and authorities, including NSW Ambulance, the NSW Rural Fire Service, Resilience NSW, Transport for NSW, NSW Maritime and the Australian Marine Safety Authority, Australian Media and Communications Authority and Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Training authority

Marine Rescue NSW is a Registered Training Organisation, meaning we can deliver purpose-designed training courses to ensure both our volunteers and members of the community have the knowledge they need to stay safer on the water. See Public boating and radio courses