Marine Emergency and Safety

For emergencies requiring a response, call SA Police on 131 444.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 000.


The South Australia Police (SAPOL) is responsible for sea search and rescue in the state and is supported by volunteer marine rescue groups and other South Australian Government agencies.

SAPOL Water Operations Unit personnel are trained in the latest technology for search and rescue planning and have access to a state-wide database of appropriate resources and information.

Police can assist you with any marine emergency or general enquiry, contact details are:

For life-threatening emergencies
Telephone: 000

Police attendance
Telephone: 131 444


SA Police Water Operations
Telephone: (08) 8242 3466


Crime Stoppers
Telephone: 1800 333 000

Volunteer Marine Rescue Organisations are located throughout the State. The closest to Goolwa and the Lower Lakes is the Victor Harbor-Goolwa Sea Rescue Squadron. The Squadron monitors the usual distress frequencies (27MHz Channel 88 / VHF Channel 16) . VHF Channel 83 repeater also provides good coverage out onto the Lower Lakes.

VHF Marine Radio Distress Calling - Marine Radio frequencies and calls to use in an emergency. 

VHF Marine Radio Maps - The maps and information on this page provide a snapshot of  the VHF radio channels and coverage for each region.

Marine VHF Radio Operators Handbook - viewing access to the Short Range Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency Handbook.


Environmental Protection Authority - The EPA is South Australia's independent environment protection regulator. They protect, restore and enhance the environment through the risk-based regulation of pollution, waste, noise and radiation. Please contact the EPA to report any marine spillages or environmental concerns.

Maritime Safety SA - For boating safety, equipment requirements and compliance, boat licenses and more. Includes Notice to Mariners which provide advice of known hazards, exclusion areas or changes to beacons and navigation aids.


SA Boating Handbook - Emergencies - This chapter discusses common emergency and first aid situations at sea, distress signals, and Australia’s search and rescue system. It also covers your obligations to respond to requests for assistance from other vessels – long-held tradition of the sea.