Australian SAR Award


Nominations are now open for the 2018 Australian Search and Rescue Award.

All nominations should be sent to the NATSAR Council Secretariat by 1 July 2018. The winner will then be announced at the 42nd NATSAR Council meeting in September 2018.


    SAR Award

    Award criteria

    This prestigious award is in recognition of 'Outstanding contribution to Search and Rescue' within the Australian region. The successful nominee will have made a significant contribution to Australia's search and rescue ability or to the saving of a human life.

    The award is open to any individual or organisation and may relate to a particular event or a sustained contribution to search and rescue over a period of time. Any person or organisation can nominate candidates for the SAR Award, and nominations should be completed using the official nomination form.

    Award nominations relate to the financial year. An incident should have occurred during the period 1 July to 30 June.                                                                                                                                                                       

    History of the award

    Awarded first in 1996, the inaugural winners being Senior Constable Aherne, Senior Constable Griffiths and MICA Officer Lamb of the Victorian Police Air Wing for their efforts in the rescue of three men stranded on a sinking trawler in Bass Strait on 23 August 1995. In the same year two Highly Commended Awards were presented to Mr Kevin Bald for his efforts in the rescue of a man off Kangaroo Island and to Sergeant Richard Mostard of the Bairnsdale Water Police, Victoria for the rescue of a person from an upturned trimaran south east of Gabo Island.

    2017 recipients

    Presented by the National Search and Rescue Council, the annual Australian Search and Rescue Award recognises outstanding contributions by individuals and groups to the Australian search and rescue system.

    To recognise the importance of both professionals and non-professionals and the role they play in the search and rescue system, the award was separated this year to recognise contributions from both categories.

    Presented by AMSA CEO, Mick Kinley, the 2017 Australian Search and Rescue Award was presented to the following recipients:

    Professional Search and Rescue Award – New South Wales Police Force Marine Area Command Nemesis crew, who came to the rescue of two sailors whose yacht capsized off Sydney in one of the most publicised rescues of the year;

    Non-professional Search and Rescue Award – Port Phillip Bay fisherman Wayne Kelly, who saved the lives of three kayakers upturned in the bay with no lifejackets;

    Commendation Award – Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Service RAC Rescue helicopter 651 crew, who battled 90 km/hour winds and fading light to winch an injured cray fisherman in Israelite Bay to safety.

    For more information about the successful nominations, visit AMSA’s website to read the 2017 Australian SAR Awards media release.

    Click on the thumbnail to view the larger image of the 2017 NATSAR award winners