Dear Members,

I hope that you, your families, friends and colleagues are keeping safe and well at this difficult time and that your organisations are finding ways to cope with the challenges that COVID-19 presents.

As a membership organisation, the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) is doing what it can to support our members.

I hope that you are aware that we are working on some operational guidelines for SAR organisations faced with operating despite the challenges of Coronavirus (due to be published on the IMRF website very shortly) and we have already published a COVID-19 planning checklist to help members in planning their own response to the current crisis.

However, apart from the restrictions imposed on many of us as Governments try to control the spread of the virus, I know that many of you have also suffered a fall in the revenue of your organisation, as a result of the resulting economic situation.

The IMRF is no different. Like many charities around the world, our income has been affected by COVID-19, as our opportunities to generate revenue have fallen away.

So, after careful consideration of all the options, the IMRF Trustees have decided to put the following arrangements in place to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of the IMRF and to ensure the future viability and financial sustainability of the organisation:

The IMRF Secretariat will be closed for one month from 1 May 2020. During that time, most of the staff will be placed on furlough (i.e. will not be working) and the remaining staff will be working substantially reduced hours. When the IMRF Secretariat re-opens on 1 June 2020, the staff will continue to work reduced hours, at least until the COVID-19 restrictions in the UK are lifted.
The IMRF Bookshop will also be closed for one month from 1 May 2020. Any orders received during the closed period will be dealt with as soon as possible, once the Bookshop reopens on 1 June 2020.
During this period, you can still contact the IMRF via [email protected]. This inbox will be monitored regularly by the remaining staff, although response times will be a little longer than usual. 
The IMRF Awards 2020 will be postponed until 2021. Any nominations already submitted will be rolled over into an extended qualifying period for the IMRF Awards 2021. Further details about the new date will be announced in due course.

The Trustees, together with the CEO, will review the situation at the end of May / beginning of June 2020 (by which time we will have more information about the likely length of future COVID-19 restrictions) and will keep all members informed.

On behalf of my fellow Trustees, the CEO and the Secretariat, I would like to reassure you that we do not take these measures lightly, but hope that you will support the difficult decisions that we have had to take in trying to safeguard the IMRF for the future.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

In the meantime, please keep safe and well and thank you for all that you continue to do to save lives.

With Best Wishes,

Dean Lawrence
IMRF Chair
International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF)