One of the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Fire Department’s primary roles in keeping the community safe is providing water rescue services. We specialize in ocean and river rescue, and are one of the only departments in the area that train to the U.S. Coast Guard standards for Basic Search and Rescue. We respond to marine rescue calls throughout the southern half of Brevard County, and cross train with many of the other local agencies. Our station is home to ATV-58, Marine-58, Marine-258, & Marine 358.
MBVFD’s 19ft Carolina Skiff was a critical addition to the Marine Rescue Unit for rapid response to any Intercoastal Waterway emergencies.
ATV-58 & Marine-258 were replaced in 2016 with donations made to MBVFD Inc. The new equipment provides rapid response for all beach, ocean, and river emergencies.
Marine-358 was donated to the department by local business Water Safety Products Inc. in 2016. Marine-358 allows us to have a back up vessel when we are operating in the ocean, as well as giving us another vessel to help with search and rescue operations.
In the past, Melbourne Beach and Indialantic Marine Rescue Team members completed a U.S. Coast Guard certification course. Marine Rescue International, LLC was hired to come down and to teach new search and rescue methods, crew resource management, efficient radio communications, equipment efficiency analysis, and recommendations.
This course was intensive and credit should be given to those members who planned time away from their own families and jobs in order to raise the level of service that MBVFD provides on a daily basis for our community.
The course proved it’s worth with the successful mitigation of an actual marine rescue call which came in during the training. The Coast Guard was notified, assets were assigned and local boaters were made aware of an over turned sail boat in the Indian River. The boat and crew were found quickly through utilizing a “Victor Sierra” search pattern, which was learned earlier in the class. All crews and vessels were recovered with no injuries or loss of property. The rescue went so well, that Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral recognized our efforts and have since made plans to utilize our services for this area, as they feel that we are a highly competent and well trained marine rescue unit which is critical for this area as a Coast Guard response is over an hour away in either direction from our community.
We are proud to have completed this course and have plans to include any other members who would like to earn the distinction of being on the Marine Rescue Team of the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Fire Department.