THE INTERNATIONAL Maritime Rescue Federation has launched an initiative developed to improve maritime SAR operations.

The IMRF #SaferSAR initiative, funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, aims to set up a platform to help organisations collect, analyse and share and learn from trends in SAR data.

The platform would be designed as a space for SAR personnel and organisations to share lessons and best practices from SAR responses, accidents and exercises.

The initiative begins with a 12-month feasibility study for the platform. It ultimately aims to improve safety at sea.

“All leading marine accident investigation branches … as well as SAR organisations and government bodies analyse and publish reports on maritime incidents and lessons learned,” IMRF CEO Caroline Jupe said.

“However, there is no global system that collates this SAR data, analyses it for trends, patterns, or particular safety concerns and then disseminates these findings more widely.

“While SAR delivery ranges from country to country and organisation to organisation, at its core the principle remains the same: saving lives and rescuing people in distress in the world’s waters.”

Ms Jupe said sharing data and experiences more effectively would enable global SAR organisations to develop greater understanding and safer operations to drive that core principle.

“This way the global community can also assist organisations that do not yet have the adequate resources to collect such information themselves, by providing information on identified safety risks.”

LRF senior program manager Olivia Swift said the foundation was pleased to partner with IMRF to help SAR organisations enhance the safety of the maritime sector.

“Global safety challenges around maritime activity are vast, and it is vital that the maritime sector has access to the best possible information on evolving risks and how to mitigate them,” she said.

The IMRF plans to work closely with industry stakeholders and SAR organisations during the study, including its own membership of more than 120 SAR organisations, governmental and non-governmental bodies, and service providers from more than 50 countries.

For the first phase of the initiative, IMRF has released a survey inviting information and views on sharing safety data in SAR organisations.