Some of the world’s leading maritime search and rescue experts will be meeting in Vancouver, Canada to share knowledge and improve their skills this weekend (15-18 June).

Every year around 360,000 people are believed to drown and the International Maritime Rescue Federation’s World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC 2019) is seeking ways to reduce this number. Experts attending from 34 countries will share experience and gain insight into practices, innovations and technologies that will help save lives.

Topics on this year’s agenda include sessions on mass rescue operations from passenger vessels; how to improve survival rates and the long-term impact of climate change and more severe weather on rescue organizations.

Hosted by the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) in collaboration with the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), the WMRC will include exciting live search and rescue demonstrations on 15 June in the waters of Vancouver Harbour in front of the Vancouver Convention Center.

These will simulate the dangerous scenarios often encountered by SAR members across B.C.’s coastline.  Demonstrations will include participants from Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy and local response agencies.

As Vancouver is in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, the Congress itself will open with a traditional welcome from the Indigenous.

Peoples of British Columbia and other dignitaries, including a video message from Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization.

IMRF CEO Theresa Crossley said:

The global SAR community is dedicated to saving lives at sea. We are both government and volunteer organizations, but we are all committed to improving the chances of survival at sea. This is the International Maritime Rescue Federation's fourth World Maritime Rescue Congress, bringing together maritime search and rescue professionals, industry and governments from all around the world to share knowledge and to improve their skills.  The Congress offers a unique opportunity learn from each other and to explore new approaches, while benefiting from our very diverse experiences.”

We are privileged to be bringing together so many SAR practitioners from around the world and welcoming them to Canada,” said Pat Quealey, RCMSAR Chief Executive Officer.  “This Congress is truly a team effort, and our partner agencies like the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Armed Forces and our generous sponsors have helped provide our international colleagues a wonderful program to develop our collective search and rescue readiness.

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