Immediately after the G4 international conference on mass rescue operations the IMRF will be running our first course on the subject, in association with Chalmers University in Gothenburg.

The course is being designed by leading experts to enable experienced SAR personnel to consider in depth the serious challenges presented by mass rescue operations, and ways of dealing with those challenges. It will be of interest to anyone involved in maritime SAR at managerial level, but will be particularly useful to those tasked with planning and training for such events.

Mass rescue operations are defined by the IMO and ICAO as "search and rescue services characterised by the need for immediate response to large numbers of persons in distress such that the capabilities normally available to the SAR authorities are inadequate".

These are extraordinary incidents, for which, nevertheless, we should be prepared.

This IMRF course will cover a full range of MRO subjects, including:

retrieval of people in distress, accounting for them, and supporting them during their rescue;
'places of safety' – the end of the rescue process;
filling the 'capability gap';
the role of the rescue coordination centre;
on scene coordination;
multiple aircraft coordination;
maritime / shoreside response coordination;
communications – priorities, systems, and structures – and public relations;
MRO training and exercising, and learning from MRO experience.

The course fee for IMRF members will be €500 and for non-members €800 – but there is a €200 reduction in the fee if you attend both the mass rescue conference and the course.

Watch the IMRF websites for more details as they are developed, and we will be able to tell you much more about this exciting development in the February 2017 edition of LIFE LINE.