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Image Top: 'Train the Trainer' Course - October 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health estimates that 320,000 people drown every year.

Furthermore, Africa and Asia-Pacific account for almost 90% of drowning deaths, with the highest rates being in the WHO Africa Region - 20 times higher than in the United Kingdom.

Africa is a continent of great cultural diversity and very different levels of economic development.

In some parts of Africa, it is often hard to find any organised rescue capability at all, while in the more developed regions, there may be reasonable or at least adequate emergency response capabilities.

The IMRF has been working with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for eight years now on a joint global SAR development programme to address this, to support key states in Africa, helping them to develop a well-functioning SAR coordination capability.  

Theresa Crossley, CEO IMRF says: “Many of these deaths could be prevented by improved maritime SAR services, which is why the work of the IMRF is so important. Our member organisations share their lifesaving ideas, technologies and experiences and freely cooperate with one another to achieve our common humanitarian aim – to improving maritime SAR capability worldwide."

The IMRF works with existing Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), Maritime Rescue Sub Centres (MRSCs) and maritime administrations across the region to identify development needs and then to provide specialist programmes of training, knowledge-sharing and international and regional networking, all based on internationally-recognised best practice as set out in the IAMSAR (International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue) Manuals.

The IMRF has nine maritime SAR member organisations in Africa, located in Abidjan, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Monrovia, Seychelles and South Africa and globally, the IMRF has 113 member organisations based in 51 countries all around the world.