Marine Rescue Port Stephens

Marine Rescue Port Stephens is an accredited fully equipped Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre (SARCC).  It is staffed 24 hours per day throughout the year by highly trained volunteers. Their Radio Base & Communications Centre at Nelson Head (VMR217) is operated by trained and qualified volunteers, 24 hrs a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year, monitoring 27MHz, VHF and HF marine frequencies, emergency and calling channels.  We are open during each day to the visiting public.

Apart from radio coverage generally to the local boating community, the base offers:

– Emergency support to vessels in trouble;

– Emergency and routine after-hours communications for Rural Fire Service, Port Stephens, Dungog and Cessnock areas.

– A Marine Radio Safety (MRS) Service – Boat Register;

– A checkpoint and radio coverage for recreational vessels transiting up and down the coastline, in our area;

– Weather readings and local conditions observations; and

– Current Bureau of Meteorology weather forecasts, sea observations and tidal information.  (These can be obtained by contacting the base by phone or radio and are also offered in regular radio skeds).

Weather recording facility.   Accredited by the Bureau of Meteorology, Marine Rescue Port Stephens provides regular reports on local conditions, which are electronically communicated to the Bureau of Meteorology, as well as to Radio, TV and Print media outlets in the local area.

Vessels traveling outside the heads are urged to report your leaving and expected time of return to Marine Rescue via VHF channel 16.

There are two rescue vessels the “John Thompson” an all weather off shore lifeboat and the “Codi-K” a fast response twin jet lifeboat. The radio base is situated at the top of Nelson Head overlooking the entrance to Port Stephens and is located next to the inner lighthouse heritage building in which is located the maritime museum also run by Marine Rescue volunteers.



  • Phone: 02 4981 3585
  • Fax: 02 4984 1944
  • Postal Address PO Box 20 Nelson Bay 2315 NSW
  • Location: Lighthouse Road Little Beach, Nelson Bay NSW 2315


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