Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) coastal radio network

Radio is the preferred form of communication in South Australian coastal waters.

We and the VMR associations periodically monitor the South Australian VHF (Very High Frequency) repeater network. This network is complementary to the State Government funded Coast Radio Adelaide VHF 16/67 network.

The main function of the network is to:

  • Log vessel movement
  • Provide weather and safety message reports
  • Receive distress and emergency transmissions.

You need to use recognised radio procedure and keep transmissions brief.

The following times currently apply for monitoring hours, scheduled contacts - or skeds - and regular weather reports.

Sea Rescue Adelaide
[0700 - 1800 hrs]
0740 Hrs
1210 Hrs
1710 Hrs
27 MHz Ch 86
VHF Ch 67
HF 2524
27 MHz Ch 88, 86
VHF Ch 16, 80 DSC
HF Scanning 2 - 16 MHz /DSC
Coast Guard-Ardrossan
[0700 - 1800 hrs]
0835 Hrs
1805 Hrs
27 MHz Ch 88
VHF Ch 80
27 MHz Ch 88
VHF Ch 16, 80
VMR Tumby Bay
[0700 - 1800 hrs]
0745 Hrs
1715 Hrs
27 MHz Ch 88, 86
VHF Ch 81
HF 2524
27 MHz Ch 88, 86
VHF Ch 16, 81
HF 2524
Whyalla Sea Rescue
[0800 - 1600 hrs]
0805 Hrs
1545 Hrs
27 MHz Ch 88, 91
VHF 73
27 MHz Ch 88
VHF Ch 16, 82
UHF Ch 11

Note: You may request weather reports from Coastal Stations outside of routine broadcast times. Warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology will be broadcast as they come to hand. Some Coastal Stations offer 'sked' calling services. Mariners wishing to ask about or be included in 'skeds' should contact the relevant Coastal Station.

Voyage reporting

You should contact the relevant Coast Station as soon as possible after launching or putting to sea.

For information on marine voyage reporting visit our marine radio page.

When logging on you need to tell them:

  • Your vessel's call sign
  • Where you left from
  • Your destination
  • Number of people on board
  • Estimated time of return or arrival at your destination.

When logging off you need to tell them:

  • Your vessel’s call sign
  • You have safely returned to shore or reached your destination.

Basic marine radio operating protocol includes:

  • Using standard radio procedures
  • Always identifying yourself on air
  • Being familiar with your radio equipment
  • Being brief and mindful of your language
  • Listening before you talk
  • Always monitoring relevant distress frequencies 27MHz Ch 88 / VHF Ch16.

Note: A mobile telephone is useful but is not a substitute for a marine radio. If you intend operating a motor boat in unprotected waters, you must have a marine radio aboard that is in working order. It must be capable of communicating with a shore based station. You must know how to operate it.

Volunteer marine base stations

Volunteer marine base stations are periodically manned by volunteers. Please note these details are subject to change without notice.

Newly opened bases may not be fully operational.

The VHF repeater coverage is shown on the maps below.

VMR - Coastal Radio Network

 VMR - Coastal VHF Marine Safety Communications Network

Click on the images above to open the maps as a PDF.

Contact information

If you have an emergency requiring a volunteer marine rescue response call SA Police on 131 444 or 000 for life-threatening emergencies.

For marine weather and warnings check with the Bureau of Meteorology
Marine weather telephone service: 1900 969 975
Marine warnings: 1300 659 215

To report suspicious marine activities contact Border Watch toll-free on 1800 06 1800 (24 hours, 7 days)

For Diving Emergency Service (DES) Hotline (24 hour) call 1800 088 200

Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Locations.