The IMRF's Asia Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) and the Nanhai Rescue Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Transport combined to hold an On Scene Coordinator (OSC) training course in Shenzhen in September.

More than 30 people attended from the China Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and China Rescue and Salvage.

In his opening remarks, Mr Lin Zhihao of the Nanhai Rescue Bureau emphasized the importance of cooperation between China Rescue and Salvage and the MRCC, especially as regards information exchange and the sharing of rescue resources.

IMRF Trustee Captain Udo Helge Fox, of the German Maritime SAR Service, who led the training session, noted the importance of the IMRF's regional development strategy. He considered the training course a significant milestone: for the first time the IMRF, through its APRC, was providing practical training on the important, and potentially very difficult, OSC function in SAR operations.

This is an initiative that the IMRF would like to build on in other parts of the world.

The Shenzhen course focussed on maritime emergency management and research on maritime SAR skills, and reviewed the whole process of maritime emergency response, including analysis of typical cases. The attendees were able to obtain the necessary theoretical knowledge and OSC skills, involving on-scene command, control, coordination and communication issues.