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Mass Rescue Operations: Learning from Experience

As regular readers will know, the fourth in the IMRF’s acclaimed series of conferences on maritime mass rescue operations will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Monday & Tuesday 12-13 June 2017, with a live exercise during the late afternoon of Sunday 11th as an ‘optional extra’, at no extra charge, for delegates arriving in the city over the weekend.

The International Maritime Organization defines a mass rescue operation as ‘characterised by the need for immediate response to large numbers of persons in distress such that the capabilities normally available to the SAR authorities are inadequate’. In other words there is what the IMRF MRO project team call a ‘capability gap’. It is the aim of the project to help those preparing for these extremely challenging events to fill that gap. If you are in the emergency response, shipping or offshore industries, we urge you to join us in Gothenburg in June.

We can guarantee you an excellent opportunity to discuss the issues common to maritime MROs – and we mean ‘discuss’. The IMRF’s MRO conferences have built a reputation for bringing together leading experts in the field and, by enabling attendees to talk the issues through with them rather than simply listen to lectures, to generate real learning from experience. These are the sort of incidents which most people in SAR rarely become directly involved in – so it is all the more important to spend time thinking about what your responses will be. Ask yourself: are you prepared? Because, with mass rescue operations, it’s not a question of ‘If’, but ‘When’…

MROrescueboatsPlaces at the conference are limited, and are booking well. If you have already reserved your place, keep an eye on www.imrfmro.org/homeg4 (new window) for news, particularly of hotel accommodation at discounted rates when it becomes available. 

If you have not yet booked for the conference, do so soon to avoid disappointment! Visit www.imrfmro.org/homeg4 (new window), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone +44 (0)1569 767405.

The conference fee, including all activities, refreshments and travel between the conference hotels and the venue is €500 for IMRF members and €800 for non-members. There are savings to be made by those eligible for the MRO Subject-Matter Expert training course, also in Gothenburg and immediately following the conference, on 14-16 June. But we think that you will agree that the conference package alone represents very good value.

The programme begins with a live mass rescue exercise, starting at 1600 on Sunday 11 June and followed by refreshments on the quayside. This will not just be an exercise to watch: you will be invited to participate, as rescue boat crew, coordinator, communicator or shoreside survivor receiver. But don’t worry. We are not out to test you. Indeed, we hope that you will take part in a role different to your usual one. The conference aim, after all, is to learn from experience!

On Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th June the main conference will take place in the fine headquarters of IMRF members the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. The IMRF’s conferences are renowned for their inter-active focus on the real issues. You will be able to hear about others’ experiences, to consider in depth the challenges associated with maritime mass rescue operations, and to discuss solutions to these challenges.

The conference is being designed around a number of mass rescue case studies, with four main themes: planning, rescue, coordination, and communications. The case studies will be used to introduce the various MRO topics within these themes, with expert panellists giving short, to-the-point presentations to inform the discussion. Topics covered will include:

o Planning roles and responsibilities, nationally, internationally and organisationally
o Filling the ‘capability gap’ – additional and regional resources, and support on scene
o Rescue – retrieval, support during rescue, places of safety and accounting for all those involved
o Coordination at sea, on land and in the air – and overall
o Communications – priorities, systems, structures
o Public relations – the news media, the wider public and those directly involved; and
o Training, exercising, and learning from experience.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity. To make a booking, or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities or IMRF membership, please visit www.imrfmro.org/homeg4 (new window), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone +44 (0)1569 767405.

Contact Info

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

Telephone: +44 (0) 1569 767405

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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