IMRF Awards 2022

The prestigious IMRF Awards are back for a seventh year to recognise volunteer and professional search-and-rescue (SAR) personnel from around the world.

The IMRF is looking for you to nominate someone or a team that has shown excellence in their field, developed innovative technology and equipment, or acted as a role model to inspire others.

This year’s awards will also shine a light on back-office staff, those colleagues who offer tireless support, training, and planning to enable SAR crews to do what they do, safe in the knowledge that they are all part of the same team.

“The last two years have been particularly challenging as the world has struggled to manage the global pandemic, but regardless of lockdowns, rising levels of infections and social distancing – SAR responders – volunteer and professional – have continued to answer the call of those in need at sea and in the world’s waters”, says Theresa Crossley, CEO, IMRF.

“Their commitment to saving lives has never wavered.  They have adapted, transformed their procedures and developed new practices and standards – demonstrating an exceptional dedication to their communities, remaining ready to help wherever they are needed,” she adds.


Nominations are now closed


This year’s IMRF Awards will have five categories that are open for nominations:

  • - Individual: For Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations
  • - Team: For Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations
  • - Innovation & Technology: For Innovation and Technology in the field of Maritime SAR
  • - Lifetime Achievement: The Lifetime Achievement Award in the Maritime SAR Sector
  • - #WomeninSAR Award: Recognising exceptional and inspiring SAR women

The finalist shortlist will be announced on 19 September 2022.

The winners will be announced at the first part of our European Regional Meeting on 19 October 2022.

People's Choice Award

The nominees in this category are the finalists from each of the other five categories. Voting takes place via the IMRF Facebook page from 20 October 2022, with the winner announced at the second part of our European Regional Meeting on 2 November 2022.

The IMRF Awards acknowledge the dedication, ingenuity and selflessness of the SAR community. Over the years, the number of awards we receive has increased, reflecting the growing recognition of maritime SAR and its role in reducing loss of life on the world’s waters. If you know of any individual, team or organisation who has made a significant contribution to this effort, be it on a local, national, regional or global scale, please consider making a nomination.


2021 Winners

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations – Captain Chen Jian
  • Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations - Coastguard Nelson
  • #WomenInSAR Award - Anna Bertrandsson Littke & Krista Lynn Elvidge
  • Innovation & Technology in Maritime SAR – JetRIB
  • Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement - Patrick van Eyssen

  • People's Choice Award - Patrick van Eyssen

No IMRF Awards took place in 2020


2019 Winners

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations – Capt Huang Zhibin
  • Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations - Marine Rescue Port Macquarie
  • #WomenInSAR Award - Isobel Tugwell
  • Innovation & Technology in Maritime SAR – MCA, Phillip Hanson
  • Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement - Arthur Allen

  • People's Choice Award - David Jardine Smith

2018 Winners

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations – Captain Siddarth Sharma
  • Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations - KNRM Station Terschelling Paal 8
  • Innovation & Technology in Maritime SAR – Pink Rescue Buoy, NSRI
  • Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement - Johannes Kooijman & Captain Nikifor Guerchev

  • People's Choice Award - Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Specialists

2017 Winners

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations – Anton Tasanen
  • Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations - MOAS (the Migrant Offshore Aid Station)
  • Innovation & Technology in Maritime SAR – RNLI Future Leaders Project Team 2016
  • Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement - Association of Maritime and River Rescue in Uruguay (ADES)

2016 Winners

  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations – Captain Herve Lepage
  • Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations - Proactiva Open Arms
  • Innovation & Technology in Maritime SAR – RNLI's James Benson and Bournemouth University
  • Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement - Mohammed Drissi