Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Search and rescue observer program

Search and rescue training offered by AMSA

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) maintains a partnership with State Emergency Service (SES) organisations to provide the search and rescue (SAR) system with a dispersed pool of trained and readily mobilised air search observers.

Search and rescue observer program

In Australia, AMSA trains SES volunteers to be Air Search Observers. This means they are qualified to fly in search aircraft to look for signs of people in distress, both on land and in the water.

SES volunteers undertake several days of training each year, which addresses:

  • safety on and around aircraft
  • emergency procedures (including pool drills with liferafts and lifejackets)
  • air search operations.

Training is usually carried out with aircraft Tier 4 capability and police aircraft operators.

AMSA holds RTO status for the observer training courses and is adding distance learning to the course delivery methodology.

Related information

For non-emergency Australian Maritime Safety Authority contacts, please visit the contact us page.

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