Worldwide, drowning is claiming and affecting millions of lives every year. To help combat this problem the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) have agreed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The IMRF brings the world's maritime search and rescue (SAR) organisations together, the ILS is the world authority for drowning prevention, lifesaving and lifesaving sport. Both organisations already support and collaborate with national and international organisations engaged in drowning prevention, water safety, water rescue, lifesaving and lifeguarding.

The MoU recognises that drowning is a major public health issue, that can be better addressed through closer collaboration. Mutual respect and the recognition of each other's contribution and unique global status underpins the working relationship between the two organisations. And the principal aim for both is their common goal of reducing drowning on all continents and in all waters.

With this common purpose in mind both the IMRF and the ILS have agreed, that closer collaboration will ensure that all the available resources are applied in a productive and more efficient manner to prevent drowning.

There are more nations and at-risk populations in the world needing drowning prevention assistance, than there are lead organisations to provide it and both the ILS and IMRF have valuable assistance to offer.

To succeed, the global drowning prevention mission also needs collaboration from all national, regional, international organisations and governments.

Michael Vlasto, Chairman of the IMRF says: "We intend to make this a very close working relationship, where we can mutually benefit from the skills, experience, resources and knowledge of our respective organisations.

The measure of success will be a reduction in the number of drownings in the world's waters as a result of our cooperation and the successful delivery of initiatives we have in place and new ideas that will be developed."

Graham Ford, President of the ILS says: "Global Drowning is a major global public health issue, that directly impacts more than one million people each year. We only can combat this through our International alliances and collaboration, when all organisations with similar humanitarian goals work together".

Through the Memorandum of Understanding IMRF and ILS agree to cooperate for the benefit of all people worldwide, in the interests of preservation of life from drowning.