National Search and Rescue Manual

National Search and Rescue Manual

Edition 1, January 2019

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 January 2019
Table of Content January 2019
Foreword January 2019
Introduction January 2019
Defence Letter of Promulgation January 2019
Acronyms and Abbreviations January 2019
Glossary January 2019
Volume 1 – Search and Rescue Administration January 2019
Chapter 1 Search and Rescue System Organisation January 2019
Chapter 2 Search and Rescue Management January 2019
Chapter 3 Training and Exercises January 2019
Volume 2 – Search and Rescue Operations January 2019
Chapter 1 Communications January 2019
Chapter 2 Awareness and Initial Action January 2019
Chapter 3 Search Planning and Evaluation January 2019
Chapter 4 Search and Rescue Techniques January 2019
Chapter 5 Rescue Planning Operations January 2019
Chapter 6 Conclusion of Search and Rescue Operations January 2019
Chapter 7 Medical Factors January 2019
Appendices January 2019
Appendix A Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on National Search and Rescue Arrangements  January 2019
Appendix B National Search and Rescue Responsibilities and Functions January 2019
Appendix C National Operational Procedure for Transfer of Coordination for Land SAR Incidents January 2019
Appendix D-1-10 January 2019
Appendix E-1-17 January 2019


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.