In October delegates from IMRF member organisations across Europe attended the annual European Regional Development Meeting.

This year it was hosted by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport & Infrastructure - Maritime Safety Directorate, Croatia and held at the Valamar Lacroma hotel in Dubrovnik on the 15th October 2019.

All delegates were also invited to attend an additional International Search and Rescue Conference, which took place on the 14th October 2019.

As always this meeting was a great opportunity for members of the IMRF to network and to discuss the topics that are of importance to them and they were welcomed to Croatia by the Keynote speaker, Mrs Maja Markovčić Kostelac, Executive Director of EMSA who spoke at length about EMSA’s role in support of Search and Rescue activities.

The International Search and Rescue Conference on the first day gave the delegates a thorough insight into the operations of Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) in Croatia, including the new SAR Development plan for SAR Assets in Croatia which was presented by Assistant Minister, Siniša Orlić.

The topic of SAR Assets in Croatia was further discussed by the delegates at the Development Meeting as the Croatian plan focusses on the introduction of Volunteers to the Croatian SAR infrastructure and this was a key element of the Agenda.

The following areas were discussed at the meeting and all delegates were able to participate in workshops and discussions, as well as get updates on the activities of IMRF panels.

EMSA in Support of Search and Rescue activities
Annual Reports from Panels and Projects
Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme
Future Technology Panel
Fundraising Skill-Share
Working with Volunteers and Paid Staff - Finding the Balance
DevelopingVolunteer work: Rural Versus Urban Communities
The Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure’s Outlook on Volunteers
Communicating a Precise Location in an Emergency
The IMRF - A Summary
Women in SAR

New Associate Member, what3words, also presented a summary of their innovative free public app, which enables the communication of a precise location in an emergency by using just a smart phone as well as the professional integrated system (which is available free to IMRF Members) that can be used alongside it.

This workshop emphasised the theme of the Meeting, Resilience in a Changing World, as did the discussions regarding Volunteers and the future of the IMRF.

The Women in SAR presentation by Harbour Master, Dolores Branko and the subsequent workshop also raised some key points about the progression of equality within the SAR world as well as the barriers to progression that women still face.

A key part of this annual meeting is gain an insight into the needs and developments of IMRF Members and all participants were encouraged to submit their feedback to the IMRF, this survey is still available at

All presentations and summaries are available to members by logging in to the Members Only section of the website.

We are also delighted to announce that the European Regional Development Meeting 2020 will be hosted by the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue and held in Reykjavik, Iceland next year.

The Proposed dates are 14-15th October 2020 and full details will be announced soon.

If you are interested in registering for the 2020 ERM please email us at [email protected]