The IMRF kicked off the year with its Forward Look Webinar, which took a deep-dive into how the organisation is set to continue its vital role, in coordination with its members, to improve maritime search and rescue (SAR) capability worldwide.

The webinar, held on 25 January 2023, provided SAR personnel and organisations with a forward look at what 2023 has in store for the IMRF. 

The meeting was chaired by IMRF CEO Caroline Jupe and co-hosted by Matthew Fader, International SAR Development, SSRS, who gave an overview of the activities planned for the IMRF for the year ahead. 

In addition, Geoffrey Denman, Rescue Officer, Canadian Coastguard (CCG) Western Region, shared   his perspective on the opportunities and challenges for the year ahead, while Captain Jori Nordström, CEO of the Finnish Lifeboat Institute (FLBI), gave an overview of what he feels lies ahead for the FLBI concerning funding, volunteers, and changes in the operating environment in 2023.

During the webinar, Caroline emphasised the importance of the IMRF and its members in improving global SAR capabilities worldwide to save lives of those at sea. 

The IMRF and its members play such a critical part in ensuring that SAR organisations are able to share best practices and training techniques in order to keep those at sea safe. We have several membership activities planned this year, including our members-only Future Technology Panel, our European Regional Meeting, which will take place in-person this year, the return of the Lifeboat Crew Exchange and the launch of 3 new Working Groups,” said Caroline.

Speaking about the Lifeboat Crew Exchange, Matthew said, “The objectives of this programme are to gain different and specialist lifeboat or SAR experience, build and improve professional knowledge, experience working in a multinational team and share experiences and develop increased mutual understanding. It will also assist in building productive networking relationships for the future. I am very excited for this event to return in-person this year following a number of years of virtual exercises.”

The IMRF is also set to continue several key initiatives this year, including the #WomenInSAR initiative and the #SARyouOK? campaign, as well as the Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) project.   The IMRF  will also be in Africa in February and April for two #WomenInSAR seminars and will also continue its programme of SAR training across Africa.

One of the highlights of the webinar was the panel discussing the World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC), which takes place in June in Rotterdam. WMRC 2023 is the largest event of its kind in the world, open to all with an interest in SAR. The conference will include talks, discussions and workshops.

The IMRF’s next webinar will be a workshop for the #SARyouOK? initiative and will take place in April. More details on how to register for this webinar will be announced shortly. 

The Forward Look 2023 Webinar is now available to watch in full. Click here to view the full recording.