The Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka (LSASL) hosted the IMRF in August at an event attended by 40 regional coordinators, rescue volunteers and other SAR service representatives.
The LSASL has just become a member of the IMRF and having the Chairman and CEO of the charity present for open forum discussions proved to be highly productive.
"LSASL is continuing to develop its capability and the statistics relating to lives saved are impressive on a comparative basis," says Michael Vlasto, IMRF Chairman. "The IMRF is keen to share our members' knowledge, resources and experience to help with the development of SAR organisations in Sri Lanka."
The forum addressed ways in which the IMRF could help. The key topics discussed were training of volunteers, sourcing funds, planning for the future, and developing collaboration with other government and non-government SAR organisations.
Water-related mass rescue, as part of the disaster management process for Sri Lanka, was on the agenda and the IMRF suggested that a workshop similar to that successfully run in Bangladesh (see page 3) would be of value in the future.
There was also a comprehensive presentation by the Sri Lanka Coast Guard on the challenging but increasingly successful lifesaving work being carried out by their rapidly developing service.
IMRF CEO Bruce Reid says: "The visits to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have strengthened links between the IMRF and local SAR agencies and have given further proof of the value of international cooperation."
"We are confident that we will be sharing views on how to save lives in and around their waters at future events, leading to more effective SAR services in the region."