Australian Maritime Safety Authority

AMSAs contracted SAR aircraft and equipment

Providing the search and rescue service for Australia

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) provides Australia's search and rescue service.

Dedicated Airborne SAR Capability

Challenger AircraftAMSA currently has contracts in place to ensure there are aircraft available for search and rescue (SAR) 24/7. This is known as the dedicated airborne SAR capability, which allows AMSA to task aviation assets to SAR incidents in a timely manner within the Australian SAR region.

A new contract was signed in October 2014 with Cobham SAR Services Pty Ltd (Cobham) to provide the next generation aircraft dedicated to search and rescue from late 2016, for a period of 12 years.

In addition to the dedicated SAR aircraft, AMSA maintains a database of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft available for SAR.

The aircraft are arranged by their capability into tiers, and form part of a comprehensive capability mix that combines to form an effective SAR service for AMSA:

Tier 1

Dedicated fixed wing aircraft and crews, capable of electronic and visual search, deployment of emergency supplies, command and control, and homing to distress beacons.

Tier 2

Rescue capable helicopters and crew that are already providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and SAR services to the Australian or a State/Territory Government, can be engaged by AMSA on an opportunity basis for rescue. This may involve homing in on distress beacons, being a search observer, limited supply dropping and undertaking command and control in a pollution incident.

Tier 3

Rescue capable helicopters and crew already providing SAR services to a company - Federal or State/Territory Government - can be engaged by AMSA on an opportunity basis for rescue. This may include homing in on beacons, being a search observer, limited supply dropping and undertaking command and control in a pollution incident.

Tier 4

Opportunity fixed wing aircraft and crew capable of visual search and homing to distress beacons.

Supplementary

Opportunity fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and crew capable of visual search. These operators are provided with information on how to conduct a search however, are not provided with specialised SAR equipment.

Related information

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

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