The IMRF's #FutureSAR initiative identifies the key challenges the global maritime SAR industry will face due to climate change. As part of this, we spoke with Katie Young, now Head of Performance and Sustainability, Engineering & Supply and prior to this Business and Performance Manager at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), to get her insight into the climate change transition, both the need to mitigate and adapt and how it impacts RNLI SAR operations. 

Katie mentioned that SAR organisations are facing substantial challenges related to climate change. This is mainly due to the intricate nature of climate change and its interconnected elements, presenting both challenges and opportunities. She stressed the importance of taking action and that every step counts, suggesting that SAR organisations should implement gradual measures and adopt a holistic approach to address climate change transition, both mitigation by reducing their collective carbon footprint as well as adapting to the changing environment. Recognising the impacts on SAR personnel themselves and the communities they serve, where they are likely to see an increase in SAR activity. Additionally, she noted the necessity for cultural change, advocating for openness to adaptation and continuous learning to build resilience within the organisation. As an organisation, the RNLI remains dedicated to constant learning and adaptation.

Katie highlighted the key role of collaboration in addressing climate change, emphasising that SAR organisations should leverage collaborative efforts to enhance their capabilities in responding to the climate change transition. According to her, the RNLI supports climate change awareness and wants to advocate their role in supporting their people and the communities they serve to mitigate the impacts and adapt to the changing environment they work in. The aim is to inform citizens that climate change will impact SAR operations as significantly as any other sector or industry.

For more information on the #FutureSAR initiative, please click here: