The International Maritime Rescue Federation's (IMRF) Asia Pacific Regional meeting in Hong Kong summed up that improving search and rescue (SAR) communications infrastructure, advancing an integrated regional radio network and developing common SAR systems and procedures between SAR organisations in the Asia Pacific area would help save more lives in the waters of the region.
Seventeen Search and Rescue organisations agreed the need for a plan to improve live saving across the area. having identified developing trends, such as an increasing number of super cruise liners carrying up to 6000 persons per vessel, more crossing ferry traffic leading to a greater risk of collision, and growing populations resulting in more passengers using the congested waterways for multi-purpose transportation involving people and cargo.
Vulnerable groups were cited as passenger ferries, because of overloading and the potential for capsizing, and the small fishing vessel fleet with many lacking a means of communicating to SAR organisations when they get into difficulty These risks are increased in the Asia Pacific Region because all craft were exposed at times to extreme weather conditions.
MRF Chairman, Michael Vlasto said: "The IMRF can help in a number of ways, including inter-agency and inter-State research to establish areas of best practice and a common resource library to file that information. We can also act as a third party facilitator with Governments to assist services and actively promote and support SAR development."
The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) brings the world's maritime search and rescue organisations together in one global - and growing - family, accredited at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).