The European Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme is going live again! Following several years of digital webinars, the IMRF will host a physical lifeboat crew exchange later this year.

The event, which will take place on 23-29 September, will enable crew members to share ideas and experiences amongst their fellow maritime SAR organisations to improve capabilities and operational best practices in a cohesive and cost-effective manner. Crew members can then bring back their gained professional knowledge and experience to their own SAR organisation.

It will also focus on improving maritime SAR training modules in areas such as first aid, navigation, towing, sea survival, man overboard recovery, crisis management, leadership and maritime English.

The week-long programme will take place all over Europe, with Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom all confirmed as hosts, with SAR organisations from around the world looking to take part. It is open to IMRF members only

One of the key features of the programme is to build up productive networking relationships between fellow SAR crew members in Europe, as well as develop and build new skills.

“Collaboration and sharing experience is key to improving maritime SAR responses and capabilities worldwide. The European Lifeboat Crew Exchange programme is a shining example what can be achieved when we exchange knowledge based on best SAR practice and build mutual understandings between crews,” said Matthew Fader, International SAR Development at the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS).

The IMRF’s European Lifeboat Crew Exchange launched in 2012 and since then more than 519 crew members from the IMRF’s member organisations have participated and trained in the programme. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the IMRF ran a series of online webinars to ensure the programme remained an important part of the maritime SAR calendar.

“The Lifeboat Crew Exchange programme is a hallmark of the IMRF and its ongoing work with the world’s maritime SAR organisations. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we made sure that the programme continued online every year to ensure best practices could be shared and maritime SAR organisations could collaborate effectively,” said Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF.

“I could not be more excited about the return of the in-person programme this year. Maritime SAR collaboration is most effective when we work closely together, so being able to experience practical operations with real-life rescue vessels and experienced crew members is a great example of how we can promote best practices in our industry,” she added.

The IMRF’s European Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme is now available to book and is only available for IMRF Members Only. If you would like to find out more, please email Matthew Fader at [email protected] or email [email protected].

Click here to find out more about the event.