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01 - Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue - Rescue Operations Centre

Cantonment Hill Signal  Station

A big shoutout to Mark Z and the awesome Fremantle Sea Rescue team for granting permission to photograph their Rescue Operations Centre.


An even bigger shoutout to these dedicated volunteers, who spend thousands of hours every year providing a 24/7/365 marine rescue service.


Cantonment Hill

Since the early 1900s, Cantonment Hill and its surrounding 10 acre area, has been used for military purposes.

The Artillery Barracks that remains today as a Museum, was built between 1910-1913 for the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery. They manned the coastal defence barriers at what was then known as Fort Arthur Head and Fort Fremantle.

During the First World War, the barracks was largely used as a rehabilitation hospital for injured soldiers who were returning from the Western Front. It would alter be used as an internment camp and a quarantine station.

In 1935, an underground control room and a large warehouse on the north-eastern side of the barracks were built. During World War 2, a tunnel network would be constructed, linking both buildings to the barracks.

A signal station was built on the peak of Cantonment Hill in 1929, which was replaced with a more modern Signal Station in 1956 by the Harbour Trust.


The building closed in 1964 when the Port of Fremantle's new and current building in Victoria Quay had completed construction.

Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue

Receiving up to 33,000 calls per year and responding to 371 incidents in 2023, the Fremantle Sea Rescue was established in 1977.


With a team of 115 volunteers which continues to grow, they dedicate their time 24 hours a day to provide a marine and sea rescue service, as well as educating the community on a range of safety awareness issues. A total of 18,968 volunteer hours was amassed last year alone!

In November 2016 they moved their Rescue Operations Centre to the Signal Station, which had been vacant for quite some time. It gave them excellent views to Gage Road, Rottnest Island and the Swan River heading north-easterly.

From South Fremantle to City Beach, the Swan and Canning Rivers as well as a distance of approximately 50 miles out to sea encompassing Rottnest Island, the Fremantle Sea Rescue are first responders to any issue which requires vessel assistance.


Using their fleet of four purpose built rescue vessels and two jet skis, as well as one of the most advanced radio systems in Australia and the very latest in search and rescue equipment and technology, they were able to rescue 1,104 people last year.

Sadly, not enough people are aware of their fantastic volunteer service, regardless of whether or not they are boaty people!

Fremantle Sea Rescue
Marine Assistance & Log On
Fremantle Sea Rescue Resolute Catamaran
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