GPS tracking

Safer Water Practices — TracPlus and Mandurah Marine Rescue

The Mandurah Volunteer Marine Service works in partnership with the Western Australia Water Police to coordinate and execute search and rescue missions in the region. We caught up with skipper and radio operator, John Jones, about how the Volunteer Marine Rescue WA serve the community.

In 1959, the Mandurah region had a boat capsize, resulting in the loss of multiple lives. At the time the area only had one policeman responsible for water events, and he knew they needed more help. In 1963, the Mandurah Volunteer Marine Rescue was formed, making it the first of its kind in Western Australia. 

Mandurah Sea Rescue now has 130 volunteers on their books, including skippers, crew, and radio operators. 

Mandurah Marine Rescue exists to serve the community. Their organisation is responsible for a variety of different roles surrounding marine activities, however, their main workload comes from search and rescue operations.

“If a boat is sinking our team will receive a distress message. Following the call for help, we can get all of our craft out on the water to aid in the rescue.”

Similar to all first responders, there’s always an element of risk in their line of work, especially with the extreme weather conditions they encounter on the job. Mandurah Marine Rescue knows that TracPlus adds an extra layer of support if something does go awry. 

“TracPlus is a key safety tool for us. Radio operators know where we are and they can track us at all times. If we do get lost at some stage, they’ll know where we were at the end of the line and can use that information to come straight out and get us.” 

The crews log every trip they do and can export that data through TracPlus at the click of a button — whether that’s log time, call signs, regos, where they’re from/going to and crew onboard.

Mandurah Marine Rescue are leaders in the education of safe water practices. Mandurah’s staff take pride in sharing their knowledge with others. Their educational roles include teaching other water users proper marine practices, for example, water safety, radio communication and proper boat maintenance — all with the aim of reducing avoidable water rescue situations. 

“Sound safety equipment is the biggest element we stress to the community when it comes to when boating. Having a radio that actually works, an EPIRB, flares and a lifejacket are the biggest things that people need. In addition to those things, it's about having proper boat maintenance."

“When a search is happening, we use tracking to coordinate our ships to ensure the search area is being covered correctly and efficiently.”

The water rescue team use TracPlus’ systems when collaborating in search and rescue situations.

“We use TracPlus to coordinate our boats when working beside each other, we can use live tracking to follow each other, and maintain a coordinated position. Even when a search is being implemented, we can use tracking to make sure that our search is done properly, and we’re not missing any of the search areas.”

Mandurah’s tracking data continues to be useful for training and analytical purposes too. Their operators have access to a catalogue of maritime events, they are able to use real-world data to further educate and develop their operational procedures. 

“With TracPlus, we can use event data like time, speed and position for further analysis and training purposes. This offers insight and feedback into ways to improve our processes for future rescues."

The team at Mandurah Marine Rescue are solely volunteers, they do the job in their own time and out of the goodness of their heart. Mandurah’s long term goal is to bring younger people into the group, as the longevity of the organisation starts with getting younger staff who share the same passion and desire as the current crew.

Jones mentioned the goal of educating new, younger staff to grow into vital roles like piloting and radio operation whilst showing them how fun and fulfilling the job is.

"For the volunteers there's a great social aspect to our work too. Our team is a cohesive unit, and our friendships go beyond the work that we do here. The most important thing for me though is the feeling you get when you’ve been out and helped somebody."

The team at Mandurah Marine Rescue do what they love for the benefit of the community. TracPlus is proud to be a part of such a vital element of Australia's water safety practices and to do our part to help keep volunteers safe, especially when they're risking their lives for others.


TracPlus can keep your people safe whilst they're on the water. Talk to us today about how your business can benefit from some extra coverage.

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