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The Loss of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter R116

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has heard with great sadness of the loss of the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter, R116, during an operation in the early hours of 14 March 2017.

IMRF Chair Captain Udo Helge Fox says: "The IMRF, which represents the maritime search and rescue community worldwide, is shocked to hear of this accident. Search and rescue at sea is a dangerous business. SAR professionals do all they can to mitigate the risks, but we cannot eradicate them entirely."

"Sometimes SAR people give their own lives in trying to save others. At the moment, we do not know what has happened to R116, or whether more of the crew will be found. I know that our Irish colleagues will do all in their power to find them, and bring them home. On behalf of the worldwide SAR community, I salute the crew of R116, and we hope for the best possible outcome."

IMRF Chief Executive Bruce Reid adds: "SAR people all over the world are part of one family, united in seeking to save lives, and the SAR world is in shock, like any family. Our thoughts and hopes are with the crew, their loved ones and their SAR colleagues at this difficult time."

Improving Emergency Response for Mass Rescue at Sea

IMRF Brings Together International Experts to Improve Planning and Resolve Challenges

Every year more than 400,000 people lose their lives in the world’s waters (World Health Organisation Report on Drowning, 2014) , but many of these deaths could be prevented through safety interventions and improved maritime search and rescue coordination and response.

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) is bringing together experts from around the world for its 4th International Maritime Mass Rescue Conference to address some of these issues.

The event will be held on 11-13 June, 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and includes a live mass rescue exercise for all those attending. The sea-based simulation exercise will offer a valuable shared experience to build on over the following two days.

New NGO Guidance for Co-ordination of Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean Published

Today on 3 March 2017, Human Rights at Sea publishes the first voluntary NGO minimum standard guidance working towards increased levels of joint co-ordination and co-operation for the on-going humanitarian relief effort in the Mediterranean region and in close co-ordination with established Rescue Coordination Centres, other State and non-State actors.

Titled: A “Voluntary Code of Conduct for Search and Rescue Operations undertaken by civil society Non-Governmental Organisations in the Mediterranean Sea” the first edition of the document is intended to act as the basis for rapid iterative development with as many stakeholders as possible, including European Institutions, Agencies, shipping and fishing associations and military forces.

Fundraising & Communications Skill-Share

29-30 June in the Netherlands

Jolan van den Broek, Head of Communications and Fundraising for KNRM, writes:

In June this year KNRM will be hosting a Fundraising and Communications skillshare in the Netherlands. This will be open to all IMRF members and others with an interest in fundraising and communications, and will consist of two days of plenaries, workshops and round table sessions that will shine a light on fundraising and communications to explore and adapt to the specific needs of working for a lifeboat institution.

Mass Rescue Operations: IMRF’s First Subject-Matter Expert Course

Over the last few years the IMRF’s maritime mass rescue operations (MRO) project has produced a good deal. We have held three subject-specific conferences and in June we will be running a fourth. We have brought together useful material and developed a series of guidance papers and an e-book on MRO issues and potential solutions: visit www.imrfmro.org (new window) to find out more. We have an ongoing series of MRO workshops, for emergency responders around the world to get together and focus on these most challenging of SAR cases.

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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