The Volunteer Coastal Patrol is the oldest voluntary sea rescue organization in Australia, it evolved from discussions between Captain Maurice Blackwood DSO RN and Messrs. HWG Nobbs and W Giles. The concept of using experienced merchant seamen and yachtsmen as an auxiliary service to the Navy and Government maritime authorities was first used in Britain at the turn of the century. The Volunteer Coastal Patrol was based on this concept and was started on 27th March 1937 in NSW at the Navy’s suggestion and the aims and objectives were issued in a handbook which included the organizational structure, discipline, ranks and bases.
The Coastal Patrol’s first task was to guard bridges and essential coastline installations in World War 2. In 1974 the Coastal Patrol was granted the “Royal” prefix in recognition of the work it had done over the years in the Queen’s Honors. From 1937 the Coastal Patrol has been operating along the coastline from Byron Bay to Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.
In 1984 the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol was formed in South Australia by Capt. W Frank Johns and David Mumford. The Coastal Patrols first base in South Australia was at Port Victoria under the command of Lt CDR D.C. Mumford. In 1986 the Mumford Family purchased a 22ft Voyager boat and equipment solely for rescue work. The vessel was commissioned and named Patrol 5. Patrol 5 is the first full-time rescue vessel on Yorke Peninsula towing many boats to safety and still going today.
In 2003 the State Government gave Funding to purchase a 7.1metre Clayton Gallant with a 235hp Volvo Penta sterndrive, Furuno Nav-Net system and a Nautic Star trailer. In 2004 the Coastal Patrol received a grant to build a 75ft x 50ft shed to house the new vessel and the new Headquarters for the Patrol. In 2009 Alpha Industries and the Greek community sponsored a 40ft extension to shed in recognition of the services the Coastal Patrol has done.
Today the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol SA has its Headquarters at Port Victoria and a southern base at Point Turton. We have 2 dedicated rescue vessels and tow vehicles, 4 fully accredited private vessels and 3 mobile radio bases covering the coastline from Cape Elizabeth to Port Moorowie. A coastline that has very limited launching facilities.
In 2011 the Coastal Patrol purchased a 22ft Huntsman which is based at our Southern Division at Point Turton and with assistance from the Yorke Peninsula Council The Coastal Patrol purchased a 4.3m Stessco Aluminum Tinny with a 30 hp Mariner outboard. This vessel is used for inshore work.
In 2017 the new Coastal Patrol vessel was delivered and commissioned. Through the Volunteer Marine Rescue vessel replacement program and with SA Government funding and Coastal Patrol funds we were provided with an 8.1m Nautic Star Custom Rescue Vessel. The vessel is equipped with a full complement of communications and navigation equipment including radar and FLIR. (Forward Looking Infra-red camera). The vessel is powered by a Yanmar 315HP turbo charged diesel inboard motor and has a top speed of 35 knots and a range of 200 nautical miles.