Volunteer Coastal Patrol collection




A collection of approximately 600 items relating to the work and membership of the Volunteer Coastal Patrol (VCP), the oldest voluntary sea rescue organisation in Australia. The material primarily dates from 1937 until the end of World War II. These were the most active years in the history of the VCP, subsequently renamed the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol in 1974.

The Volunteer Coastal Patrol (VCP) was established on 27 March 1937 to bring together yachtsmen and those interested in small ships and encourage them to undergo a course of training that would help authorities in rescue situations. During World War II patrol members assisted the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Water Police and Maritime Services Board in the vital defence of Sydney Harbour. Oil depots, wharves, troopships, dockyards, the State ammunition dump in Bantry Bay and flying-boat base in Rose Bay were all patrolled by the VCP until war's end. In 1940 the Patrol had some 500 vessels and 2,000 members on its register. The VCP continued to operate in the post-war period in a purely voluntary capacity and small branches of the patrol still exist in the 21st century. This unique collection consists of uniforms, insignia, pennants, certificates, poems, log books and hundreds of letters and photographs recording the activities, structure and membership records of the VCP; and provides specific details about the work carried out by patrol members during wartime.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1937-1987; Logs (records); Naval uniforms; Volunteering; Watercraft; World wars; Yachts

Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol

Search and rescue

Coverage Spatial

Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia; New South Wales, Australia; Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40