Support Operations Team

Duty Officers

Duty Officers are highly experienced volunteer lifesavers integral to the Surf Life Saving Emergency Response System. They support beach patrols and liaise with emergency services during serious incidents, both during patrol hours and after-hours as required.

Duty Officers complement the efforts of the beach patrols through coordinating the response of the Support Operations Group assets including, Rescue Water Craft (Jetskis) and UAVs (drones).

SLSMNC currently has six Duty Officers who are rostered on weekend and public holidays through the season to support our eight Mid North Coast Clubs. When rostered, Duty Officers must be 100% contactable and able to respond to emergencies and provide support to club patrols when needed.

The rostered Branch Duty Officer is the first point of call in coastal emergency incidents after hours and outside of the patrol season who will then coordinate the relevant rescue resources required to save a life, including club call out teams, RWC operators, and UAV operators.

Rescue Water Craft (RWC)

A Rescue Water Craft (RWC) is a personal water craft, commonly known as a jet ski, operated by a qualified and proficient lifesaver and fitted with a surf kit including a rescue sled.

Its primary purpose is to support beach patrols with additional surveillance and rescue capabilities, concentrating on patrolling the high risk locations away from standard patrol areas.

The RWC has revolutionised the organisations after hours emergency response capabilities, regularly responding to major search and rescue incidents outside of season, often to save lives at remote locations, as they are faster and more manoeuvrable than other rescue equipment and only require one operator. SLSMNC’s RWC Group boasts a fleet of RWC’s strategically located along our coastline. Each area of operation may have some overlap with adjoining areas to provide proper coverage of the patrolled zones. RWCs are expected to team up for major search and rescue operations and operate outside their district on an as needed basis.

RWCs are also used for additional water safety at carnivals, ocean swims and other aquatic

events across the Mid North Coast.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

UAVs or ‘Drones’ are a new technology that provide greater coverage and surveillance of potential risks along our coastline.

SLSNSW currently provide two separate UAV programs across NSW. The first UAV program is funded through the $16 million NSW Government Shark Management Strategy that has now been delivered for the past two seasons. This program along with providing greater patrol surveillance at the 18 identified locations also assists with shark species identification and research into the behaviour of marine life.

The second UAV program is funded through the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drone Program and is Australia’s first comprehensive national approach to surf rescue using innovative drone technology, giving surf lifesavers more eyes in the sky at patrolled beaches around the country.

Becoming a UAV Pilot

Anyone who wishes to fly a drone for SLSNSW will be required to do a two-day course. Content covered in this course includes a full day of practical flight training with an instructor and operationally specific information which includes identification of marine life and other hazards such as rip currents. If you have a current Remote Pilots Licence (RePL) or other aviation qualifications, then you may be granted recognition of prior learning (RPL) and only be required for the operationally specific aspect of the course.

All SLSNSW UAV Pilots are required to have an Aviation Reference Number (ARN). If you do not currently have an ARN, please follow the process here: Guide to ARN and Sub2kg Commercial Excluded Notification.

For more information go to SLSNSW UAVs.

Rescue of the Month

This award aims to recognise excellence in lifesaving and service delivery, measured against industry best practice and operating procedures.
Lifesavers provide an invaluable service on beaches and in communities throughout New South Wales. Many exceptional rescues and first aids are performed over and above normal duties showcasing excellence in lifesaving skills and procedures that often go unrecognised.

The below Surf Life Saving clubs have been presented various awards for their rescues within the Mid North Coast. We congratulate our members on their outstanding skills and dedication to saving lives and keeping our beaches safe.

To nominate your ROTM, please click here  

Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC
30th September 2023
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South West Rocks SLSC
30th October 2022
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Camden Haven SLSC
15th April 2017
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Macksville-Scotts Head SLSC
13th October 2014
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South West Rocks SLSC
4th February 2012
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Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC
29th January 2011
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Hat Head SLSC
3rd April 2010
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Beach Safety Tips


Taking a road trip up the coast? On holiday? Or just looking for the right beach for you? Find your nearest patrolled beaches in seconds.

Beachsafe is brought to you by Surf Life Saving Australia as part of our ongoing commitment to education and safety in the aquatic environment.

The site includes current information and conditions for every beach in Australia. It shows patrol services, hazards and facilities as well as weather, swell and tide details. Beachsafe is designed to help you choose the right beach for your needs, so you can relax and enjoy your visit.

Staying safe and making the most of the coast requires knowledge and skills. The Surf Ed section of the Beachsafe website will help you learn about the beach, the science of the surf and the creatures in our oceans as well as surf skills and first aid. It’s all about helping you to enjoy our beautiful coast.

Beachsafe App

Access the latest information about every Australian beach on the go. Offering unrivalled coverage of the Australian coastline, the Beachsafe app provides detailed information from patrol status, facilities and hazards to weather, swell and tide.

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