The IMRF is delighted to announce the inaugural maritime search and rescue (SAR) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Seminar, scheduled for 26 November 2024 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The seminar will be followed by the IMRF’s Annual Meeting on 27-28 November at the same venue. The EDI Seminar is open to both members and non-members, with a registration fee applicable for attendance. You can now register at: You can register for the IMRF Annual Meeting using the same registration form as for the EDI Seminar.

Following the success of the #WomenInSAR conference in Finland in 2022 and drawing from the insights gained at the World Maritime Rescue Congress, the IMRF’s next focused objective is promoting EDI. EDI in maritime SAR is vital for ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals at sea. Incorporating EDI principles into SAR operations contributes to a more effective and responsive system.

Purpose: The purpose of the IMRF's Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Seminar is to foster a more inclusive and equitable approach to maritime SAR.

Why? Like any organisation, it is essential that SAR organisations are representative of the communities they serve and aim to reach. Many SAR organisations also find that recruiting and retaining staff and volunteers can be challenging. As a sector, there are a number of ways we can work together to address this and ensure our sector is open to all. 

Aim of this EDI Seminar: Our first EDI seminar aims to explore the importance of EDI in the context of maritime SAR and promote best practices to ensure safety, fairness, and respect for every member of the SAR community. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, including SAR professionals and EDI advocates, the seminar marks the beginning of a sector-wide dialogue by creating a platform for meaningful discussions and knowledge-sharing on this topic. The event is designed to inspire and empower SAR organisations to integrate EDI principles into their operations, ultimately creating a more effective, responsive, and safer SAR service.

Aim of the IMRF's EDI Project: The seminar is part of the broader IMRF EDI project, with ongoing activities planned for 2025 to continue the momentum and deepen the engagement with EDI topics. The goal is to build a network of organisations committed to EDI, promoting safety and facilitating collaborative and innovative solutions that drive positive change in the maritime SAR community. The IMRF aims to create a lasting impact, helping SAR organisations evolve into more inclusive, respectful, and diverse environments that better serve the needs of their communities and those in need of assistance in the world’s waters.

Help us create an understanding of the current state of EDI in the SAR organisations by taking our survey here: Survey results will be discussed at the seminar and will help shape our agenda. We encourage your active participation as we work together to make our sector inclusive to all!

Dates: 26 November 2024.

Location: Grand Hotel Palace, Thessaloniki, Greece

Cost: Members £175, Non-Members £250. 

Programme Outline

Tuesday 26 November

  • What is EDI, and Why Should it be Promoted in Maritime SAR
  • Where Are We Now?
  • EDI in SAR Organisations - Multiple Case Studies
  • EDI in Broader Maritime Context
  • Workshops in EDI: Policies, Practices, Challenges, Solutions and Support

The full agenda will be published shortly.


You are free to choose any of the local hotels. However, we have negotiated the following prices for Grand Hotel Palace (, which is also the venue for the meeting:

  • Classic single room: 100 per night
  • Classic double room: 115 per night
  • Deluxe single room: 115 per night
  • Deluxe double room: 130 per night

Please book your accommodation directly with the hotel through this link. Delegates can book their rooms through the link until October 26th. All delegates are responsible for paying for their own accommodation, travel and any visa needed as well as any refreshments that are not included in the programme.

For instructions on how to reach the hotel from Thessaloniki airport, Thessaloniki railway station or from Athens by car, please visit:


To register for this event, go to: On receipt of your registration for the EDI seminar you will be sent an invoice. The registration is only confirmed once payment is received.

You can register for the IMRF Annual Meeting using the same registration form as for the EDI Seminar.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]