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2nd April 2019

Maritime SAR organisations urged to celebrate successful rescue operations

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Exceptional actions deserve international recognition in the IMRF Awards 2019

“Every day all around the world, maritime search and rescue (SAR) volunteers and professionals do everything they can to help those in distress at sea.  It’s a tradition as old as anyone can remember and enshrined in international and maritime law – but we shouldn’t take it for granted” says Theresa Crossley, CEO International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).

She goes onto explain that: “The IMRF has 113 member organisations in 52 countries around the world and every day their teams are saving lives at sea.  It’s their passion, it’s what they do, and it’s become normal.  But if any of us takes a step back, we can quickly see how exceptional these people are and how incredible their actions as individuals, as teams or thanks to new technology and innovative practices, really are. 

“Because this is their ‘every day’, we forget how awe-inspiring their commitment, skill and bravery really is.   Which is why we are calling on everyone involved in maritime SAR to ‘take a step back’ and to celebrate the dedication of their colleagues or recognise the equipment that today makes possible SAR operations that would have been unthinkable even a few short years ago.
“It is time to say thank you and well done!”

The highly regarded IMRF Awards are in their fourth year.  They attract nominations from around the world, covering everything from those involved in the establishment of a national maritime emergency service, to local heroes who have dedicated their entire lives to establishing or improving services to save lives at sea in their region.  They recognise volunteers and professional SAR personnel alike, as well as those behind the scenes of a rescue, who ensure that effective rescue plans are in place, provide training, or develop equipment, all of which helps to save more lives.

The IMRF Awards 2019 offer four categories for nominations:

• Individual: For Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Maritime SAR Operation
• Team: For Outstanding Team Contribution to a Maritime SAR Operation
• Innovation & Technology: For Innovation and Technology in the field of Maritime SAR
• Lifetime Achievement: The Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector

The 2019 IMRF Awards lunch will take place on board HQS Wellington, an historic vessel moored on the River Thames in London, on 10 September. This prestigious event will be part of London International Shipping Week (9 – 13 September 2019), a week which attracts high-level government representatives and shipping industry leaders from around the world.  
Nominations can be submitted online, or by post. Visit for more details and to submit a nomination.



The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) brings the world's maritime search and rescue organisations together in one global and growing family, to share knowledge and improve maritime SAR coordination and response so more people in distress on the sea can be saved.

IMRF's member organisations share their lifesaving ideas, technologies and experiences and freely cooperate with one another to achieve their common humanitarian aim: "Preventing loss of life in the world's waters".

The International Maritime Rescue Federation was founded (as the International Lifeboat Federation) in 1924. In 1985 it was granted non-governmental consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognition of the good work being undertaken and the growing need for an organisation to act as a global focal point for maritime search and rescue. In 2003 it was registered as an independent charity and in 2007 the organisation was renamed the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), reflecting the broader scope of modern maritime search and rescue activity.

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