The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), the world’s leading non-governmental organisation for the development and improvement of maritime search and rescue (SAR) capacity and operational effectiveness, celebrates its 100th anniversary since its founding in July 1924. As part of our celebrations, we’ve delved into our archives to bring you a selection of images showing the evolution of maritime SAR and the IMRF over the last 100 years. We hope you enjoy looking at these and here’s to the next 100 years of working together to further enhance maritime SAR.

Founded as the International Lifeboat Federation at the first-ever International Lifeboat Conference in London in 1924, the IMRF has evolved to become the world’s leading charity that focuses on the development and improvement of global maritime SAR capacity in order to further reduce loss of life at sea. For the past 100 years, the IMRF has brought together the world's leading maritime SAR organisations from around the world to provide a critical forum for the development of some of the biggest issues impacting maritime SAR operations, including vessel design and operation, lifesaving equipment and training, and personnel safety. In 1985 it was granted non-governmental consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognition of the good work being undertaken and the growing need for an organisation to act as a global focal point for maritime SAR. In 2003, it was registered as an independent charity and in 2007 the organisation was renamed the IMRF, reflecting the broader scope of modern maritime SAR activity.

Take the Quiz - Win a SAR Coin

As part of our celebrations, we created an online quiz. Show your knowledge of our history over the past 100 years and you could be one of three winners of the IMRF Centenary SAR coin.

The quiz is open to all and will close at midnight on Friday, 12 July 2024. Good luck! 

For more information on our history, please go here The IMRF Centennial History Portal | International Maritime Rescue Federation (