Lat: 35"10'200 South
Long: 150" 35'700 East


The Hillpine Shed,
30B Sussex Rd.
South Sussex Inlet


PO Box 6025, Sussex Inlet, NSW. 2540


02 44413555


02 44411444



Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet VMR208

Operational Hrs


Operational Area

Cape St. George in the North to Bendalong Point in the South 7 Nautical to Sea, St Georges Basin, Sussex Inlet and Swan Lake.

Radio Frequencies Monitored

VHF 16:   27Meg 88/91:  UHF 25

Unit Commander

Ron Ford - Ph: 02 4441 0014
(Mob) 0427 501 578

Boat Licence Testing

Bookings - 02 4441 3555

About Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet

Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet can be contacted 24-7 and is one of 45 units of Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW, the state's official accredited volunteer marine rescue service for the NSW boating public and visiting boaters from interstate and overseas.

Marine Rescue NSW bases provide a modern, world-class standard of boating safety support including:

On average every year, Marine Rescue NSW rescues more than 3,000 vessels in trouble carrying over 7,500 men, women and children including over 1,850 facing serious, life-threatening emergencies.

Like all other Marine Rescue NSW bases, MR Sussex Inlet volunteers provide a similar proportion of rescues in our part of NSW.

We urge all boaters, local and visitors alike, to use our Log On-Log Off service to ensure someone responsible is keeping a safety watch on your boat while on our waters. The new Marine Rescue App for smartphones makes this even easier than ever. For more details call Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet on 02 4441 3555 or visit

History of Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet

Volunteer marine rescue services in Sussex Inlet began in 1974. Local resident John Nicholas, established a stand-by marine radio base in his home for the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol base at Shoalhaven in Greenwell Point, of which was he was a member.

As more Sussex Inlet residents joined the organisation, it was decided in 1982 that Sussex Inlet should apply to the national headquarters of the RVCP to be recognised as a new division serving the growing boating community of Sussex Inlet and St Georges Basin.

The new division was formally established and John Nicholas was appointed Divisional Commander and members used their own private boats to meet the needs of the boating community.

By 1984, after some successful fundraising and loans from four of the members, the Sussex Inlet volunteers were able to purchase the first vessel dedicated to rescue work and owned by the division itself. This vessel was named "Patrol Rescue".

Together with members' own boats, the new vessel provided an efficient rescue service for the local inland waters as well as the adjacent coastal waters of Wreck Bay.

Community Spirit 2

Two years later after more intensive fundraising, the Sussex Inlet volunteers were able to commission the construction of our first purpose-built rescue vessel from a builder in South Australia. By drawing on the experience of the members on local waters and studying the needs of a specialist vessel able to handle the Bar at the entrance to the inlet, it was decided that a jet-propulsion vessel powered by a 210hp turbocharged diesel engine would meet the demands of crossing the bar at any time except at very low tides.

This combination proved to be an excellent choice with the new vessel performing to all expectations.

The former vessel was sold and the name "Patrol Rescue" retained. A rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) was also acquired for inshore work where shallow waters required a vessel with very little draft.

In 1991 John Nicholas was promoted to Captain and appointed as the RVCP Southern Region Captain for NSW. David Jones, another dedicated and tireless member was appointed Divisional Commander.

John was appointed Officer Commanding of the RVCP in 1998 and was later awarded the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

David Jones succeeded John Nicholas as Captain South in 1998 and was appointed a Company Director of the organisation. He was elected Chairman of Directors in 2003.

Both John and David have been honoured as Life Members of Marine Rescue NSW.

Community Spirit

In 2006 "Patrol Rescue" was replaced by a custom built, member-designed 8.5m jet boat constructed to 2C Survey standard as required by the NSW State Rescue Board. It was named "Community Spirit" and is used for offshore work.

At the same time the inshore RHIB was replaced by a 5.9m Stabicraft named "Community Spirit II".

Both vessels are stored out of water on boatlifts at the Sussex Inlet base where they are not only ready for immediate launching but also require less hull maintenance and can expect a longer useful life.

Sussex Inlet members have played an important part in the management and operations of both the local division as well as the parent RVCP organisation.

 2006   David Jones was appointed RVCP Company Secretary and was awarded the Emergency Services Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II;

Kate Jones promoted to Captain South;

Ron Ford appointed Divisional Commander.
 2009 John Lang appointed Divisional Commander and oversees transition to Marine Rescue NSW;
 2010 Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet becomes operational in January.
 2014 Ron Ford elected Unit Commander.

Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet base

Old Base
The original base for
RVCP Sussex Inlet.

The original base building was a former private boatshed built around 1940 and given to Shoalhaven City Council in 1981 for the sole use of Sussex Inlet RVCP.

In 2006, the existing building was not only too small for the increased membership and necessary facilities and equipment but it was also slowly sinking into the Inlet and contained extensive asbestos. It was time to plan for a new Base.

With the generous assistance of Shoalhaven City Council, a Federal Government Grant and overwhelming support from the local community, a new base was designed and constructed to meet the needs of both the local and visiting boating community as well as the volunteers who operated the service.

The new base was officially opened on 2nd December 2009 by Shoalhaven Mayor Councillor Paul Green. Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet welcomes visitors to the base which is located on the waterfront at 30B Sussex Road, Sussex Inlet.

Visitors are welcome from 8am to 3pm 7 days a week.

The new Base
Patrol Base 2012

All information as supplied by Marine Rescue, Sussex Inlet, 22 March 2015.

link button