The University of Lübeck’s department of pulmonology is investigating the changes and challenges our members have faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to improve water and crew safety worldwide in future pandemic situations.

The department is looking for surf lifeguards, rescue divers and crew members of search and rescue (SAR) vessels to fill out a short survey that is currently available in 10 different languages.

IMRF encourages all of its members who meet the criteria to take part in the survey so that we can all understand the impacts of the pandemic on SAR operations worldwide.

As part of the survey, researchers from the university hospital’s Medical Clinic III are looking to collect data to help them understand and evidence how Covid-19 impacted SAR operations. 

To better understand influencing factors and use the findings to prevent issues in future, the researchers are also looking into how SAR workers interacted with the public during the pandemic, how much time was allocated to training and first aid training and how trends changed on the beach and in the water.

This includes feedback on issues including whether or not there were more non-swimmers in the water than usual, if people responded aggressively to receiving instructions from SAR workers and if the SAR incidents recorded and responded to had changed. 

In addition, one of the key parts of the survey is how access to online-only first aid and medical courses differed from its real-life counterpart and whether it was an effect replacement or not. 

Finally, the survey is collecting feedback on the type of advice SAR workers would provide their local government regarding water safety for future pandemics or similar situations. 

For further information and official documents, please contact [email protected].