FREMANTLE SEA RESCUE OPERATIONS CENTRE
CANTONMENT HILL, FREMANTLE, WA
Completed in 1958 for the Fremantle Port Authority, the Signal Station situated on top of Cantonment Hill is an iconic piece of Fremantle’s maritime history. Vacant and derelict for the last 50 years, Australia’s busiest and largest volunteer marine rescue group, Fremantle Sea Rescue (FSR), successfully won the public submission in 2015 to occupy the building, allowing them to replace their existing dilapidated radio tower and headquarters.
GroupGSA working with FSR developed a brief for a purpose built facility that would have a minimum service life of 25 years and be Australia’s flagship marine rescue operations centre.
The originality of the landmark building designed by Hobbs Winning & Leighton Architects, was respected and conserved but with a modern emphasis on adaptability, ergonomics and low maintenance. Working with Fremantle Sea Rescue, GroupGSA was able to help secure over $210,000 worth of government grants and sponsorships from local businesses and services which made the build possible.
Inside the modest 140sqm building are administration offices, storerooms, training and seminar spaces on the lower levels with the top floor being the dedicated radio control room housing over $200,000 of state-of-the-art (radio over I.P.) marine communications equipment. The radio room can also function as a major incident control centre when required.
Fremantle Sea Rescue is a 24/365 volunteer organisation that every year receives over 30,000 marine radio calls and using their fleet of four dedicated rescue vessels and two jet skis responds to over 750 incidents on the waters off Perth’s coast including Rottnest and Carnac Islands, Swan and Canning Rivers.