Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue Group has a proud history, dating back over 40 years, during which time we have built an unrivalled reputation for performing hundreds of marine searches and rescues each year in all conditions. Over the years our volunteers have become more skilled, our vessels have become larger and more sophisticated and our overall capabilities have improved year after year.

Brief History of Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue

After a double boating fatality off Pinnaroo Point in the early 1970’s, a group of concerned “boaties” got together and decided to create an informal group to be available with their own private boats to come to the aid of other boat owners who found themselves in trouble in local waters. After a number of years the group of volunteers decided it was time to formalise their activities.

At a public meeting the proposal to establish a sea search and rescue group was unanimously accepted and passed, and so the Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue Group was formed.

A “log-on” box, and later a “mobile headquarters” (a caravan) was set up on the beach at Pinnaroo Point for sea goers to record their departure time, number of people on boat, direction in which they were going and estimated time of return. Remember, this is in the pre-radio days so this important facility was the best technology available at the time.

When marine radios became affordable, WVSRG was a pioneer user in Western Australia. Initially 1-watt Hand Held radios were used with the boats.

Volunteer boats

Back in the day when volunteers provided their own rescue vessels

sea rescue bus

This was the beginning of our 24 hour, 7-day-a-week radio monitoring and call-out service.

old tower

Back in the day when volunteers provided their own rescue vessels

In 1980 the Whitfords Sea Sports Club, (now known as Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club)  was built at Ocean Reef and the Control Room for the Yacht Club, at the front of the building, was offered to the WVSRG for radio operations and monitoring duties.

During this time the WVSRG continued to expand its operations, extending its services to the public with boat handling and safety, navigation and training in radio operations.

WVSRG was finally able to gather together enough money to start on its new Training and Operations Centre. Land was granted to the WVSRG by the City of Wanneroo and building commenced in late 1987.

With the help of the volunteer members, donations of materials and equipment by private sponsors and a lot of fund-raising the building finally reached completion. WVSRG Head Quarters now stand as a tribute to those dedicated volunteers of the early days.

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