Report to COMSAR
March 15, 2010 - 9:16am

Associate Professor Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs attended the 14th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR), held in London from 8 to 12 March, to present the final report of the WMU-led 5-year project on Search and Rescue research related to passenger ships.

The project started as an initiative from IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee resulting form a discussion on safety issues on passenger ships, and its initial objective was to collect information about SAR research related to passenger ships undertaken by IMO member states.  Over its lifespan, the project grew to include three SAR workshops and the development of a database, with input leading the project to include an examination of the problems of countries still trying to build up efficient SAR services, and issues of concern in polar waters.

The SAR information platform now contains more than 200 SAR-related documents, and has attracted a community of readers; it will be kept online and up to date, and is continuing to receive contributions from across the world.  
“At the beginning, the very limited amount of SAR research related to passenger ships was a difficulty for the project,” said Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs. “There are many more research activities carried out regarding design issues than active research related to SAR and passenger ships.  In the early stages, it also needed a great deal of perseverance to get input from sources and circles outside IMO.”
However, the project moved ahead successfully despite obstacles.  The report was highlighted by the Secretary General in his opening address as an issue deserving careful consideration by COMSAR, and the warm reception given to the project and its results by representatives from governments as diverse as those of the Bahamas, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as observers from the cruise line industry (CLIA) and the SAR services (IMRF).  All five report recommendations of the final report were endorsed by COMSAR.  The information platform will now have a more general focus on SAR developments globally, and delegates expressed their willingness to support the project and to submit statistics and information to WMU.
SAR is clearly perceived as an issue of importance across the maritime community, and WMU has been asked to make further progress reports to COMSAR on the growth and development of the information platform.

Last updated date

June 2, 2012

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