So, you would like to be a crew member on our rescue boats. Great!

You need to know a few things so that you understand what is required. 

Requirements of Crew Members

Prospective crew members are required to meet certain standards in relation to health, fitness and aptitude before being accepted as trainees – these standards are necessary to ensure the safety of the applicant, as well as that of the other crew members, the public and Unit’s vessels.

Conditions at sea may be arduous, and search and rescue operations may continue for long periods at night and in bad weather. Applicants who suffer from motion sickness, bad backs or similar, or who are not confident in unstable situations, should carefully consider whether they can meet the standards needed.

A crew Job Description is attached and will assist applicants in understanding the requirements.  Crew members are expected to attend the majority of their rostered days and to attend the training courses provided for crews and other members from time to time. Crew members are also required to participate in fundraising activities.

Crew Members MUST be able to reach the Base within 20 minutes of being called in for active duty.

Training of Crew Members

Training is modular and covers:

  • Marine Communication and terminology (includes radio licence)
  • First Aid (includes CPR)
  • Safety and Standard Operating Procedures
  • Weather and Tides
  • Navigation and Regulations
  • Vessel Handling, Maintenance and Basic Seamanship
  • Search and Rescue operations

It will generally take at least two years to complete the full range of training courses.

Training is provided in line with national training standards, and crew are issued with a recognised maritime qualification at the successful completion of training.

Crew Structures

New crew members will, on completion of the acceptance process, will be classed as trainees and cycle through a number of crews for a period of six rostered duty days (approximately six months).  During this period, trainees will be provided with basic maritime safety training, as well as local knowledge training, First Aid and Radio training. At the completion of this initial trainee period, on successful completion of the required training, and at the discretion of the squadron, the trainee will attain full operational “Crew” status.

Crew members will then be allocated to a regular crew, and will undergo further training in maritime operations – with the opportunity to qualify as “Competent Crew” following sufficient sea time and a practical assessment.

Competent Crew then receive further training with the opportunity to advance to Senior Crew and ultimately Coxswain – with responsibility for commanding a vessel.

Application for the position of Coxswain at VMR Bribie Island requires that candidates have completed the MAR20318 training package and received a Cert II in Maritime Operations, along with Search and Rescue training, as well as completing sufficient sea time and demonstrating a capacity for leadership and safe operation of a vessel.  Prospective Coxswains must undergo a rigorous assessment before being appointed as ‘restricted Coxswain”.

Appointment as an unrestricted Coxwsain requires additional experience in search and rescue operations in a range of conditions, and approval of the squadron.  The role of Coxswain brings with it responsibility not only for safe vessel operations, but also for leadership and advancing the cause of the squadron generally.

Duty Roster

Basic crew duty involves a rostered Saturday or Sunday, every four weeks. Duty hours are from 0700 to 1700, although hours may extend if an incident is in progress. Crew members must attend a majority of rostered days or risk being removed from the roster.

Crews must also make themselves available for rostering on AT LEAST five callout shifts during a month.  Typically you will only be rostered for 2-3 shifts but you must be able to make yourself available for five shifts to assist the rostering process in the month before. A day callout shift is from 5am to 6pm, and a night shift is from 6pm to 5am.  While on rostered callout a crew person must be ready for immediate operations and be able to get to the vessel within 20 minutes.

Crew members must live within 20 minutes of the base and are required to be available for rostered call outs.


VMR Bribie relies on fundraising to fund the operation of the squadron.

Crew must make themselves available for fundraising activities (normally selling raffle tickets or managing car parking) at least once every three months.

Job Description – CREW MEMBER #JD-02-00

Boat crews may be required to carry out any or all of the following duties in a manner which will not endanger themselves, any other crew person, or any member of the public, in any way whatsoever. Crew members must

  • Hold a Blue Card. If you dont have one then apply for one after acceptance for duty.
  • Be capable of lifting, pulling and throwing ropes, lifting loads, carrying equipment etc.
  • Be able to work confidently on wet and unstable decks as required and transfer to small tenders as required.
  • Be able to swim confidently in a range of sea conditions.
  • Be able to be involved in arduous marine operations in both daylight and darkness for extended periods, often in rough, wet and cold conditions.
  • Work effectively in a team situation.
  • Hear, understand, and act on instructions as required.
  • Be familiar (after training) with the operation of VMR Bribie Island Rescue vessels and all associated equipment, including electronic navigation aids, outboard and fire-pump motors, and small inflatable tenders.
  • Be able to assist in the delivery of primary First Aid including resuscitation techniques for prolonged periods in extreme conditions (e.g. CPR and EAR).
  • Remain effective in high-stress situations (e.g. death or serious injury on Medivac operations).
  • Be medically fit to undertake all of the above.  (Crew members must have a Body Mass Index less than 33.)
  • Hold or obtain a “Recreational Boat Licence” before commencement of duty.
  •  Attend training courses from time to time as well as available for rostered duties and fundraising.

How to Apply.

Download the Form and Complete

After completing the form you should either ...

1. Post the form to:

The Recruitment Officer
VMR Bribie Island
PO Box 85

2. Scan and email the form to or

3. Drop the completed form at the Marine Rescue Base, Bribie Island

At the earliest opportunity you will be contacted for an orientation meeting to confirm your application and further explain the process.

Thank you for your interest – Crew Duty is a rewarding undertaking which both assists the community and considerably improves the knowledge and experience of crew members in a safe and structured way.

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