In a Boating Emergency

Rescue Ops – Boats & Comms

Marine Rescue NSW Port Stephens Rescue Vessels Currently in Service

The Unit has two primary rescue craft, both purpose-built, specialised vessels, crewed by highly-motivated and well-trained volunteers who can be called upon at any time, day or night, to head to the assistance of those who call.

They are both Accredited Rescue Craft and are available on a 24-hr call-out basis, subject to Police tasking.

A response time of 20 mins or less is estimated from alert to heading to sea. Both vessels boast a comprehensive inventory of the latest navigation, communication, safety, and rescue technologies on board.

Port Stephens Rescue Vessel PS-31 “John Thompson”

marine search and rescue vessel and rescue ops
Rescue Vessel PS-31


11.46m (38ft)


3.84m (12.6ft)


11.6 tonne






Twin 420hp Yanmar diesel



Approx 250 nm at 10 knots – 20 hours

Top Speed:



Operational – normally 4

Rescue Vessel Port Stephens 31 John Thompson was built by Steber International, Taree, NSW, and completed in May 2016. Her single hull is made of glass-reinforced plastic.

Port Stephens 31 is fitted with state-of-the-art radar, direction finding, and navigation equipment as well as forward looking infrared search equipment.

John Thompson has been prepared to Marine Rescue NSW specifications with minor customisation at the request of the Port Stephens Unit and is capable of covering Port Stephens and anywhere along the coast for example Broughton Island, Seal Rocks, and 30nm out to sea or further if tasked by MACSAR.

Make / Model:

Naiad 10M Rescue Vessel


 10M Aluminium CAT 3 SAR







2 x Suzuki V6 four-stroke Outboards 300hp each (220kW)

Fuel Capacity: 

 900 litre tank

Fuel Consumption:

 Cruising speed – 50 litres / hour


 4.5 tonnes




  4 operational



 Top speed around 40 knots. Cruising speed 25 to 30 knots

Port Stephens Rescue Vessel PS-30 - 'Shirley Clark'

Rescue Ops - Boats & Comms | rescue ops
Rescue Vessel PS-30 Shirley Clark

Lifeboat PS-30 (Shirley Clark) was manufactured and fitted out at Yamba NSW, completed in June 2023. Her single hull and superstrucrure is made of aluminium alloy.

She boasts  a full Raymarine navigation suite, Doppler RADAR, Forward Looking Infra-Red camera (FLIR), Radio Direction Finding (RDF), mutiple Radio Frequencies (VHF, 27MHz, Surf Life Saving). Mobile and Satellite phones and comprehensive First Aid and Resusitation equipment.

The Shirley Clark has been prepared to Port Stephens Unit specifications in consultation with Marine Rescue NSW, and is capable of covering all of the areas of Port Stephens; ie, the Myall River system, Karuah River, and the other shallow areas of our waterways, as well as outside waters as required.