Earlier this month, the IMRF and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held a meeting of the combined regional search and rescue (SAR) committees  from the IMO’s North West and West Africa Regions. 

The meeting took place from 3-6 March 2020 in Morocco.

Eighteen delegates from 12 countries took part, representing maritime SAR organisations from Senegal, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Morocco, Mauritania, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.  

Members of the Aeronautical SAR division of the Moroccan Navy also attended.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Ministry of Marine Fisheries, Morocco, aims to increase cooperation and collaboration not only between the two regions, but also between countries and across borders.

The meeting examined issues relating to artisanal fisheries across the region, particularly the means to identify a boat in distress.

The meeting was followed by a 'Train the Trainer’ course on rescue boat handling and a visit to MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) Rabat.

The course on rescue boat handling and casualty recovery used the IMRF’s newly published IMRF Rescue Boat Manual and focused on training techniques, course content and adapting information to participants’ needs in different circumstances.

Each delegate who attended this training will now be able to deliver training on the IMRF Rescue Boat Manual in their respective countries.

Mohammed Drissi, IMRF Trustee and IMRF Regional Coordinator for Africa said: “This was a very successful regional meeting and training, the extremely productive partnership between the IMRF and International Maritime Organization is really helping to develop SAR services and capabilities across the continent.