Winner of the IMRF Awards 2019 Category: Lifetime Achievement

Over the last 35 years, Arthur Allen has been advising the US Coast Guard on the impact of ocean currents and winds on the location of people, vessels or aircraft in distress. 

His work, particularly on maritime drift modelling, has led to improved planning of search operations, reduced rescue times, reduced the risk to responders and has helped save thousands of lives.

His greatest achievement was the implementation and integration of the broad spectrum of environmental research and expertise into search planning and survival modelling.

He has also developed a forecasting tool to predict the impact of the forecast sea and wind conditions on the ability of sailing vessels to adhere to a planned course. He is now applying similar principles to help search planners forecast the movement of active swimmers.

His work on the development and fielding of Self-Locating Data Marker Buoys (SLDMBs) has given search and rescue authorities the ability to compare on-scene current data with forecasted ocean currents, providing even more accurate drift data to search planners and improving ocean current models.  

His work is detailed in the IAMSAR Manual, the US Coast Guard SAR Addendum, and within the US Coast Guard's Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) which used for training in countries around the world.