The IMRF is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jared Blows, Chief at the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town. Jared passed away at home on the evening of 22 June 2023, shortly after returning from international technical engagements. 

Since joining the MRCC in Cape Town in 2004, Jared has positively impacted colleagues and the broader maritime search and rescue (SAR) community. After leaving the South African Navy, he formed part of the original MRCC team, falling within the South African Department of Transport’s Maritime Authority (SAMSA). He was part of the duty team that pulled the first watch at MRCC Cape Town after completing their training.

Jared started as an Assistant Duty Controller in 2004 and was promoted to Duty Controller/SMC at the beginning of 2006. In 2007 he was promoted to Operations Supervisor and, in 2015, became MRCC Cape Town’s Chief, a position he held for almost nine years.

Jared was the focal person for all matters related to maritime SAR and represented the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Organization (SASAR) at the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee meetings on Navigation, Communication and Search and Rescue (NCSR).

Jared was also instrumental as an active member of the IMO’s Working Team reviewing the IAMSAR Manuals, model courses and other SAR-related technical work. He was passionate about SAR training, not only within South Africa but in the region as well.

Furthermore, he was the South African representative at the COSPAS SARSAT meetings in Montreal and had a keen understanding of Distress Broadcasting and Communications and Aviation SAR, enabling him to contribute to the relevant technical committees, including COMNAP.

Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF, said: “Jared was a very well respected member of the IMRF global SAR family, and his knowledge of maritime SAR was unequivocal. He championed the development of maritime SAR capability globally and supported many aspects of the IMRF’s work. He will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

Philipp Bostock, Head of International Liaison at His Majesty’s Coastguard, said: “The news about Jared deeply saddens me. With Jared, we lose not only a SAR professional but one of the leading voices for SAR in Africa and a valued contributor to the ICAO-IMO Joint Working Group and a great representative of the IMRF. I will certainly miss his cheerful and positive character, and alongside everyone at IMRF, my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues in this difficult time.”

The National Search and Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson, said: “Chief Jared Blows was an exceptional individual whose immense contribution to South African maritime SAR and the maritime fraternity at large, here and abroad, will forever be remembered and deeply felt.”

Jared is survived by his wife, Carmen; daughter, Madison; son, Mathew; sister, Debbie and his mother, Denise.