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Second IMRF Course in Mass Rescue Operations Planning Held in Sweden

Second IMRF Course in Mass Rescue Operations Planning Held in Sweden

On 4-6 September 2018 the IMRF held its second ‘subject-matter expert’ course in maritime mass rescue operations, at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. There were 26 participants from around the world – from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and the UK.

The course considered, in some depth, issues common to such events – especially how to fill the SAR ‘capability gap’ implicit in the International Maritime Organization’s definition of an MRO, which is “characterised by the need for immediate response to large numbers of persons in distress, such that the capabilities normally available to the search and rescue authorities are inadequate”.

Participants discussed details of such operations and their coordination, the need for effective communications in what are complex and stressful circumstances, and the necessary training and testing regimes.

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Immediately after the G4 international conference on mass rescue operations the IMRF will be running our first course on the subject, in association with Chalmers University in Gothenburg.

The course is being designed by leading experts to enable experienced SAR personnel to consider in depth the serious challenges presented by mass rescue operations, and ways of dealing with those challenges. It will be of interest to anyone involved in maritime SAR at managerial level, but will be particularly useful to those tasked with planning and training for such events.

Mass rescue operations are defined by the IMO and ICAO as "search and rescue services characterised by the need for immediate response to large numbers of persons in distress such that the capabilities normally available to the SAR authorities are inadequate".

These are extraordinary incidents, for which, nevertheless, we should be prepared.

This IMRF course will cover a full range of MRO subjects, including:

retrieval of people in distress, accounting for them, and supporting them during their rescue;
'places of safety' – the end of the rescue process;
filling the 'capability gap';
the role of the rescue coordination centre;
on scene coordination;
multiple aircraft coordination;
maritime / shoreside response coordination;
communications – priorities, systems, and structures – and public relations;
MRO training and exercising, and learning from MRO experience.

The course fee for IMRF members will be €500 and for non-members €800 – but there is a €200 reduction in the fee if you attend both the mass rescue conference and the course.

Watch the IMRF websites for more details as they are developed, and we will be able to tell you much more about this exciting development in the February 2017 edition of LIFELINE.

About ....

20170615 155313smallaAbout the IMRF Mass Rescue Operations - Subject-Matter Expert Course - 2018


The IMRF’s Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) Project shares lessons learned in these very challenging SAR events via conferences and workshops and in our online material at

Building on the success of the first IMRF MRO subject-matter expert course, held in June 2017, a second course will be held at Chalmers University, in Gothenburg, Sweden, in association with the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) from Tuesday to Thursday, 4-6 September 2018.


Aim of the Course

The aim of the subject-matter expert course is to help prepare those with responsibilities for complex incident planning and response, particularly at senior command, control & coordination levels.

Attendees will already have extensive SAR / emergency planning expertise.

The course will enable them to study maritime MRO issues, challenges and potential solutions in depth, acquiring subject-matter expert skills which can then be applied in their local / regional planning and preparation.


Course Format

Self-preparation, before the course, including assessment of the attendee’s local MRO capabilities and challenges
Three full days of interactive study of the maritime MRO issues, guided by expert facilitators
Post-course application of lessons learned and skills acquired, supported by the material available in the IMRF’s online MRO reference library.

The First Course in 2017

The first IMRF Mass Rescue Operations Subject-Matter Expert course in 2017 was a hit, and it sold out very quickly!

Below a selection on what the very first course was about...

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Contact Info

International Maritime Rescue Federation
50 Allardice Street
AB39 2RA
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1569 767405


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