We Work to Develop and Improve Maritime Search and Rescue

We are the only global non-governmental organisation working to develop and improve maritime search and rescue around the world and thereby save lives.

The World Health Organization estimates that 372,000 lives (new window) are lost in the world’s waters every year. This equates to one person every 85 seconds dying or more than 40 people per hour. However, we believe the true figure is likely to be higher.

Many of these deaths could be prevented by improved maritime search and rescue (SAR) services and increased awareness of the importance of safety on the world’s waters.

That is why your support is so vital. Thank you.

World Health Organization’s (WHO) global drowning mortality estimate does not include drownings which are a consequence of another classified external cause of death. For example, deaths from transport incidents, including those where vessels carrying migrants, refugees and stateless people capsize, and flooding.

We are saving lives through a range of international, regional and national projects, examples include:



PartakesLiberia3We are working hard to complete the Global Search and Rescue (SAR) Plan, continuing to coordinate training and development initiatives with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (new window).

To date, over 160 people from 16 countries across North and West Africa have attended these courses since the end of 2014, leading to increased SAR knowledge and capability resulting in a more professional response to maritime incidents and improved reporting of incidents in these regions.



Vrijwilligers HRT Griekenland ChiossmallWe are playing a key role in saving lives in the Aegean through our Mixed Migrant Safety Project, where we have helped build the capacity of the local rescue service, the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) (new window) by co-ordinating the assistance of our members, including the provision of 12 rescue boats, equipment and the training of local volunteer crew.

In July 2016 it was announced that the Mixed Migrant Safety Project has saved over 5000 lives (and counting)!



bangladesh1Responding to the resource needs and requests of developing SAR services around the world for example, distributing 1000 lifejackets to fishermen in Bangladesh (new window), who did not have lifejackets, following the death of 320 fishermen in one storm in September 2015.


Would You Like to Stay in Touch?

Every 2 months we publish our free LIFELINE Newsletter filled with exciting stories and topics for discussions on the world of maritime search and rescue. We even translate some of the articles in 5 other languages! Want to sign up for our Free newsletter? You can do so here (new window) . You can unsubscribe at any time through one of the newsletter e-mails, or e-mail us at .

Contact Info

International Maritime Rescue Federation
50 Allardice Street
AB39 2RA
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1569 767405


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