In the last four months, regardless of where we are in the world, our lives have been changed by COVID-19, including at IMRF, where we have had to postpone or cancel some of our events planned for later this year, including the IMRF Awards 2020.

The good news is that the IMRF Awards will be back in 2021, with a longer qualifying period. Any nominations already submitted for the 2020 Awards will be rolled over to next year. For more details, visit the IMRF website.

In times like this, our links to each other and to the international maritime SAR community matter more than ever. 

In true IMRF tradition, members have come together to share their thoughts on the challenges presented by the virus, to develop best practice and share ideas as the situation evolves.   

As a result, you will find a new COVID-19 area under the resources part of the IMRF website with lots of useful information, including a COVID-19 planning checklist and guidance on continuing to provide an effective SAR in these testing times.

These resources will be updated as the situation changes, so remember to check the website for the latest information.

In this edition, you will find a thought-provoking - and very honest - interview with Enrico Menezies of NSRI in South Africa on the subject of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which throws light on an aspect of SAR that is very rarely spoken about, but which deserves more attention.

We also have an interview (recorded before the current pandemic took hold) with our Chairman, Dean Lawrence, as well as news about our work in Africa and how that ties in with our global SAR development programme. 

There is a great example of Members helping Members, with DGzRS and the Estonia Volunteer Rescue Organisation sharing their fundraising knowledge and expertise, and we also have a story from Uruguay about the practicalities of carrying out a MEDEVAC of a COVID-19 patient.

Last but not least, we’ve got a final report from the S/Y Admiral Bellingshausen on the successful completion of their Antarctic200 expedition, which we have been following in previous editions.

Even the production of LIFE LINE has been affected by the impact of COVID-19, with planned changes to the format being delayed by the current situation. 

Look out for the next edition later this year, with its new format.

In the meantime, please keep safe and well at this most difficult time.

I hope you are finding ways to cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19, and thank you all, for everything you continue to do to save lives.