The UK P&I Club has made a significant donation to the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) to support its work developing resources, training and building preparedness for maritime mass rescue operations.
The IMRF is the international non-governmental organisation which works to develop and improve maritime search and rescue (SAR) capability around the world, preventing loss of life in the world's waters. Mass rescue operations, are defined by the International Maritime Organization, as being beyond normal search and rescue (SAR) capability and therefore of vital interest to anyone with a role in SAR planning and response.
Part of the UK P&I Club funding will provide essential support for the IMRF online resource library which brings together as much mass rescue operations (MRO) guidance material as possible. The online library is free to use and available to SAR professionals around the world, the funding will update the information available, enabling SAR services to better plan and prepare for MRO situations.
A past MRO exercise involving the IMRF
The remaining funding will support two scholarships for the IMRF MRO Subject-Matter Expert course which will be held in September 2018. The only course of its kind, it was launched last year. It offers a detailed study of MRO issues, giving the attendees the skills to assess their own organisation's capability to respond to MRO events and includes follow-up support from the IMRF as needed.
The second Subject-Matter Expert MRO course will be held at Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden, from 4-6 September 2018. The two scholarships will include course fees, travel and accommodation expenses. They will make an immediate and real difference to the benefitting SAR service, enabling two individuals to attend who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend.
Theresa Crossley, CEO of the IMRF said: "The IMRF is very grateful to the UK P&I Club for this generous contribution, which will support our important work in this area. Thankfully such incidents are rare, at least in the developed world, but they are extremely challenging when they do happen.
"That is why it's so very important to plan and train and build relationships with the right people before a response is needed. It's not 'if', but 'when'; put simply, the better prepared the responders are, the more lives they will save."
Theresa Crossley, IMRF CEO
Stuart Edmonston, the UK P&I Club's Head of Loss Prevention added: "The IMRF works to prevent the loss of lives at sea which, as a major provider of maritime protection and indemnity insurance, is a priority for us too. Every year the UK P&I Club supports a selection of charities, usually with a maritime theme as part of our business commitment to CSR. The IMRF's work to increase knowledge and resources around mass rescue operations is vitally important globally."
The UK P&I Club is one of the oldest P&I clubs in the world. It provides Protection and Indemnity insurance for third party liabilities and expenses to shipowners and operators. One of the largest P&I clubs, it insures over 239 million tonnes of owned and chartered ships from more than fifty countries round the world.
Photo credits: Thumbnail, modified, public domain; other photos courtesy of IMRF.