What can you do now?
By Clive Mountford – Sea Rescue Skipper.
You have just joined this great organisation: what can you do now? Well, you can simply go fishing, logging in with us knowing that your safety is being monitored.
However, if you wish to be an active member there are a number of avenues you can pursue.
We have a great Members Liaison Team who will guide you through the SASRS seas and ensure you have plain sailing.
I did, however, think a brief summary might help your decision making.
When you attend your first meeting, you will notice a number of things.
- An enjoyable social atmosphere
- A professionally run organisation
- A great camaraderie
- Most members have epaulettes signifying their position within the organisation, e.g. Trainee, Radio Operator, Operational, Skipper, Coxswain, and a number of others indicating executive or other roles.
This gives you some idea of what SASRS can offer you
Below is a brief description of our basic training, all done in-house.
You will be expected to have your Short Range Operators Certificate of Proficiency for radio, and have passed our Seamanship course before or while you are a trainee.
Other training is done as part of your progress through the training task-books, including the ‘Provide First Aid’ certificate course, provided by St John.
First cab off the rank is Radio Operator. This provides an introduction to SASRS and its operation and the knowledge and ability to assist in our Operations Centre. You will learn about VHF, Government Radio (GRN), Coast Radio Adelaide and Command radios. You will also be part of a team of volunteers who are trained in Search and Rescue procedures.
Having completed the Radio Operator training, the next step, if you are interested, is to become sea-going, i.e. Operational. Another task book is completed, giving hands-on boating experience and training to assisting search and rescue operations.
When this is completed you can participate as a crew member on weekend patrols, other callouts for assistance, and training exercises. You may then have decided to increase your seagoing knowledge, by qualifying in coastal navigation through our in-house course.
If there are vacancies, you may be invited to join one of our rescue teams as a Search and Rescue crew member.
Each crew has a skipper, navigator/radio operator and two crew. These crews become involved in major search and rescue events.
Of course you may like to drive boats. Skipper is the next step. Again this involves another Task Book to be completed and an extensive training regime and practical test to ensure our skippers are competent.
I did mention the Coxswain Epaulette in the list above.
This is an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) qualification for commercial vessels <12 m. For those who have attained it, this epaulette is a recognition of the AMSA qualification. SASRS does not require a Coxswain’s qualification. At present the only qualification for skipper on any SASRS vessel is our internal training.
We do have a number of members who are Coxswains, and SASRS skippers. They assist with our sister organisation, Barcoo Services.
Of course you may have some prior qualifications. Although you will have to go through the processes, your prior knowledge and experience will undoubtedly assist you to qualify more quickly. However to maintain standards, to operate SASRS resources, you must have demonstrated your abilities by fulfilling the necessary training requirements.
Of course, you may find that you have other useful skills to assist with the organisational and administrative function of SASRS, e.g. accounting, IT, radio technician, radar, medical, mechanical, leadership etc. Any assistance is always greatly appreciated, fulfilling and rewarding.
For more information, contact our Members Liaison Team, firstname.lastname@example.org