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Discussing SAR at the IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation, Communications and SAR (NCSR) is the principal forum for the discussion of maritime SAR at the international, United Nations, level. It reports to IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee.

Much of NCSR’s work relates to navigational and communications issues not directly relevant to SAR.

On the other hand, much of the detailed work on SAR and emergency communications is done for both IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization by a Joint Working Group.

This Group also acts as the editorial body for the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual. The Joint Working Group reports to IMO via NCSR.

IMRF’s policy on advocacy, as a “non-governmental organisation in consultative status” at the IMO, requires us to be represented at NCSR and Joint Working Group meetings.

In recent years the IMRF has contributed significantly to the Joint Working Group’s work, and hence to that of NCSR – and so to the improvement of maritime SAR at the highest level.

Some of the issues to be discussed at NCSR’s February 2018 session are as follows.

Read more: Discussing SAR at the IMO

Hurricane Irma: The Aftermath

When you are involved in maritime search and rescue you are used to facing the elements head on but what happens when your station itself is affected by inclement weather. Here Julie Schneider of VISAR explains how they were affected by Hurricane Irma and how they are rebuilding their service.

Virgin Islands Search and Rescue has been serving the community for the past 30 years but on September 6, 2017, our lives in the British Virgin Islands changed forever when the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over us.

With sustained winds clocking over 185 mph and a rumored 16 tornadoes, the damage from the storm was described by many as “looking like a set of a post-apocalyptic movie”. Cars overturned, 20 Ton yachts picked up and flipped over, roofs were blown off, power lines dangling and not a leaf or flower to be seen. It’s an image that will stay with us forever.

Read more: Hurricane Irma: The Aftermath

CM Hammar Donates to the IMRF Mixed Migrants Safety Project and Our Affiliate Member Sea-Watch

CM Hammar, who for the past 160 years have been providing better solutions for safety at sea, have donated £1,500 to the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) Mixed Migrants Safety Project (new window) and to our Affiliate Member Sea-Watch, who are working to save lives in the Central Mediterranean.

Håkan Skutberg, Managing Director, CM Hammar says: "When our company wanted to make a Christmas Gift to the IMRF it seemed natural to choose a project and organisation that was working in the Central Mediterranean."

Read more: CM Hammar Donates to the IMRF Mixed Migrants Safety Project and Our Affiliate Member Sea-Watch

Remembering the Greatest Loss

Thirty years ago today, on 20 December 1987, the passenger ferry Doña Paz collided with the oil tanker Vector in the Philippines. Fire spread rapidly through the two ships and over the surrounding sea.

At the time of the incident, it was difficult to be certain how many people died, because the ferry was grossly overloaded – people travelling to Manila for Christmas had been sold extra tickets illegally.

Read more: Remembering the Greatest Loss

IMRF and Inmarsat Deliver First ‘Train the Trainer’ GMDSS Course in Africa

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and Inmarsat have delivered the very first maritime search and rescue Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) course in Morocco.

Seven maritime search and rescue (SAR) professionals have taken part - five from Morocco, one from Senegal and one from Nigeria. They are all GMDSS trainers in Africa and will return to their respective regions to pass on the knowledge and training to their teams and organisations.

The GMDSS is an international system, which uses approved terrestrial and satellite technology and ship-board radio systems. This trusted technology means that shore-based rescue and communications authorities can be immediately alerted in the event of an emergency at sea.

Read more: IMRF and Inmarsat Deliver First ‘Train the Trainer’ GMDSS Course in Africa

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