In May the IMRF delivered a high-level specialist workshop on Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) for more than 40 officials from a range of maritime emergency response organisations in Bangladesh. Held in partnership with the Bangladesh Coast Guard this was the second MRO workshop that the IMRF has delivered with this organisation

The workshop offered the attendees an opportunity to focus on MRO issues with international experts in an interactive environment. The course was led by John Geel (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution, KNRM) and Paulo Falé (Portuguese Navy). It explored the most common challenges experienced in MRO situations, using expert knowledge and shared experience from around the world to identify focus areas for local response planning. The discussion also covered important follow up actions to be taken by local stakeholders.

Theresa Crossley, CEO IMRF commented: “This is vital training, any major incident severely tests the capabilities of the responding units and organisations, and because of the scale and unpredictability, effective preparedness and MRO response strategies are crucial.

One of the Bangladesh Coastguard officers who attended the course, said afterwards: "The workshop was a great success. All of the participants highly appreciated the efforts of IMRF."

The training follows the recent donation of 2000 lifejackets to Bangladeshi fishermen to help prevent drowning as a result of bad weather and high seas. The lifejackets were donated by Shanghai San Jin Shipping Company and Shanghai An Shipping company and the presentation of the jackets was organised by the IMRF’s Asia-Pacific Regional Centre.

The waterways in and around Bangladesh are the primary means of transporting people around the country. More than a thousand lives are lost each year at sea, around the coast, and in other waterways, as vessels continue to grow in size, with double, and even, triple decked launches being built, making overloading a significant hazard and challenge.