The IMRF Search for a H.E.R.O: Mission Complete

Posted in LIFELINE October 2016 - English

At the IMRF secretariat we work with SAR organisations worldwide and, from the comfort of our office, we not only hear about the inspirational missions that occur, we get sent through stories of technical innovation that has changed the way SAR operates.

We are always in awe of what our members and the SAR community achieve so in April of this year we began our very own search mission. We may not have been heading out into stormy seas in search of a missing yacht but our mission was important: we set out to search for a H.E.R.O!


Search Parameters of the IMRF Mission to Find a H.E.R.O:

Who: Inventors of innovative SAR products, technologies and processes. Individuals whose selfless efforts and sacrifices saved lives.
Support networks and organisations which enable missions to take place by providing exceptional response and co-ordination.
Where: Worldwide
What: Nominations were received from across the global SAR network and range from an organisation that co-ordinated a rescue saving hundreds of refugees in one night to an individual whose inventiveness has helped save lives through innovative design.
When: For projects and missions that took place between 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016
Weather on Scene:
From stormy seas to high pressure coordination centres and energised laboratories.

The IMRF search was made possible by sponsorship from IMRF Associate Members McMurdo ( We are delighted to say that it was a successful mission with nominations received from across the globe.

The difficult task of judging this year’s entries has fallen into the experienced hands of Michael Vlasto, former Chairman of the IMRF; Nigel Clifford, General Manager Safety and Response Services Maritime New Zealand and Stein Solberg, Chief of Operations, Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Norway. All of the judges’ extensive experience and skills have been used to weigh up the submissions and to choose which nominations should receive the honours.

Our C.E.O Bruce Reid had this to say: "I am delighted that the H.E.R.O. Awards have attracted a range of exciting and compelling entries from across the world. The aim of these Awards is to recognise and thank exceptional performance in SAR, both by individuals and organisations, all of whom are making a major contribution to SAR, progressing IMRF’s mission to improve global maritime SAR and prevent loss of life in the world’s waters."

McMurdo have been exceptional in supporting the IMRF in the development of the H.E.R.O awards. We are also very pleased to announce that Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, will sponsor one of the awards.

'The Vladimir Maksimov Award for outstanding service to maritime search and rescue’ will commemorate Vladimir Maksimov, one of the architects of Inmarsat’s Maritime Safety Operations network, who sadly passed away earlier this year. This sponsorship is a fitting tribute to Vladimir,who had been part of Inmarsat for 25 years and was the Director of SOLAS Services, playing a central role in the Inmarsat safety team. Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President for Safety and Security, Inmarsat Maritime, said ‘Inmarsat is especially proud to sponsor this IMRF H.E.R.O. Award in commemoration of the exceptional contribution made by Vladimir Maksimov to the safety of life at sea.'

The IMRF search for a H.E.R.O will be concluded with two awards ceremonies which will take place simultaneously on the 15 November 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal and Washington D.C. In Lisbon it will be hosted at an awards dinner as part of the IMRF European Regional Meeting and in Washington it will be held at the McMurdo Emergency Readiness and Response Experience Center.

Our first mission to find a H.E.R.O has raised awareness of the excellent work done by all those involved in the SAR community. These awards have given us a chance to acknowledge the dedication to SAR that is present in the global SAR family. To us you are all Heroes and we will be looking for the next round of nominations for H.E.R.O awards in early 2017.

The winners of the H.E.R.O Awards will be announced on the evening of the 15th November at the H.E.R.O. Awards ceremony. This will be followed by a celebratory dinner supported by our H.E.R.O partners McMurdo.

Registration is now open for the IMRF European Regional Meeting. For more information please go to

Contact Info

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

Telephone: +44 (0) 1569 767405

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