National Search and Rescue Manual

National Search and Rescue Manual

Edition 1, September 2018

The National Search and Rescue Manual is the standard reference document for use by all search and rescue authorities and other organisations that provide search and rescue services in Australia. It outlines the agreed methods of coordination through which search and rescue operations are conducted within Australia. The manual is consistent with the relevant International Conventions to which Australia is party. Available online only, this is the latest edition.

Available by section

For ease of reference, follow the quick links. The date of the most recent amendment is shown.

Preliminaries Last updated
Front Cover September 2018
Table of Content September 2018
Foreword September 2018
Introduction September 2018
Defence Letter of Promulgation September 2018
Acronyms and Abbreviations September 2018
Glossary September 2018
Volume 1 – Search and Rescue Administration September 2018
Chapter 1 Search and Rescue System Organisation September 2018
Chapter 2 Search and Rescue Management September 2018
Chapter 3 Training and Exercises September 2018
Volume 2 – Search and Rescue Operations September 2018
Chapter 1 Communications September 2018
Chapter 2 Awareness and Initial Action September 2018
Chapter 3 Search Planning and Evaluation September 2018
Chapter 4 Search and Rescue Techniques September 2018
Chapter 5 Rescue Planning Operations September 2018
Chapter 6 Conclusion of Search and Rescue Operations September 2018
Chapter 7 Medical Factors September 2018
Appendices September 2018
Appendix A Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on National Search and Rescue Arrangements  September 2018
Appendix B National Search and Rescue Responsibilities and Functions September 2018
Appendix C National Operational Procedure for Transfer of Coordination for Land SAR Incidents September 2018
Appendix D-1-10 September 2018
Appendix E-1-17 September 2018


The NATSAR Manual is reviewed and updated through an annual amendments program. Amendments can be proposed throughout the year, which are then reviewed and approved by the NATSAR Council at the annual meeting. All approved amendments can be viewed in the amendment history below.

To propose an amendment please download and complete the required fields within the Manual Amendment Schedule and email to the Secretariat.