With the World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) just six months away, sustainability looks to be leading the agenda across the three-day event.

Taking place in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in June 2023, WMRC 2023 is the largest event of its kind in the world, open to all with an interest in search and rescue (SAR). The conference will include a number of talks, discussions and workshops, with the topic of sustainability running through every session.

The congress will be jointly hosted by the IMRF and The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) at SS Rotterdam, the iconic former flagship of the Holland-America line, now a hotel and conference venue permanently moored in the heart of Rotterdam.

The overall theme for WMRC 2023 is ‘Towards sustainable maritime SAR – building on our history to secure our future’ and will include three conference threads: ‘SAR operations today’, ‘Sharing SAR experiences’ and ‘The future sustainability of SAR’.

Sustainability is at the top of the global shipping industry’s agenda and it is no different for maritime SAR,” said Theresa Crossley, the IMRF’s CEO.

WMRC will cover a wide range of sustainability topics. From funding and operating greener SAR operations to monitoring the impact of maritime SAR on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, we want to take a look at the future challenges our industry faces when it comes to sustainability and discuss the possible solutions,” she added.

Seafarer wellbeing will also be very present at WMRC, with subjects including promoting equality throughout a SAR organisation to recruiting, retaining, training and managing volunteers.

SAR is nothing without its dedicated and highly skilled staff and volunteers,” said Jacob Tas, CEO of KNRM. “We must do all we can to ensure we are recruiting and retaining the best people to work in very difficult circumstances each and every day, while providing the training and resources they need to thrive. I hope that WMRC 2023 will be a fantastic opportunity for the world’s maritime SAR organisations to discuss the best way for our industry to move forward for the benefit of our SAR personnel.

Mental health awareness will also be a major discussion point during WMRC. The IMRF recently launched its #SARyouOK? mental health and wellbeing initiative to increase awareness and further break down the stigma that is attached to mental health and wellbeing issues faced by those working in the maritime SAR sector.

The official programme working group is currently looking for Abstracts on all subjects related to sustainability in maritime SAR. The deadline for Abstract submissions is 3 February 2023. You can find out more about the guidelines for Abstracts here: https://wmrc2023.com/call-for-abstracts/

Registration for WMRC 2023 is now open and IMRF Members get access to an exclusive discounted rate for a full ticket, which gives full access to all sessions, exhibitions and networking events. This discount is only available until 17 March 2023. Click here to find out how to register: https://wmrc2023.com/registration/