Maritime Search & Rescue 2018 Day 2: Conference Day 1 – Platforms and Pioneering Technology

Captain Juha Vuole (Finnish Border and Coast Guard) opened the Conference with a detailed brief on Finland’s 2 year Chairmanship of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum’s work and its relationship to the Arctic Council. A major project was the SAR capabilities study which evaluated existing capabilities and gaps in coverage. An ice breaker mega-yacht/cruise ship is reported to being currently built in France which may be used soon to take tourists to the North Pole- Juha showed a video simulating a cruise ship grounding in the high arctic showing the extreme challenges involved in long range SAR.

Dr. Dimitrios Dalaklis (WMU) followed Juha and briefed on the trend in ice coverage in the Arctic and the growth in traffic, exploration and tourism and developments in SAR coverage in the region. Navigation season will increase to 160 days p.a. by 2030. Russia has now built 10 SAR bases along the northern sea route (NSR), one MRCC and two MRSC’s. Bent-Ove Jamtli (DG JRCC North Norway)talked about the 3067 incidents they responded to in 2017, with an approximate ratio of 60/40 sea to land. Bent-Ove then gave a very detailed presentation on SAR challenges and coordination in Northern waters.

Post Coffee session: Communications and Control in the Maritime Environment.

Aurelian Sorinel Calincuic (Vice-Chair EU Maritime Radiocommunications) ‘From Titanic to satellite… from Morse to digital’ gave an overview of the regulatory and technical future/modernisation of the global GMDSS system and the integration of the Iridium satellite system. NAVDAT using 500khz digital broadcasting MSI system which is in development, AMRD’s automated radio detection devices (divers marking, fishing nets, etc). Richard Rynesch (Frequentis) gave a presentation of Frequentis’s incident management system and the need and methods to integrate multiple data sets. Finally for the morning Thomas Tammilehto (FBG) displayed the EU project RANGER to use coastal OTH radars and photo enhanced radar systems out to 200 nautical miles to detect sub 10m vessels in support of search and rescue operations. Installations are set up for test in southern France into the Mediterranean. The aim is to have an economic and viable system available to Coast Guards which will cost in the region of €7-11M.

Afternoon Session 1: Increasing Capability through Specialised vessels.

Jon Svanberg Hjartarson (DG ICE SAR (lifeboat and inland SAR)) described an organisation of 4000 volunteers in 93 SAR teams throughout Iceland including a rescue parachute and a diver recovery teams. He believes National SAR Plans should include bringing in organisations that can offer crafts of opportunity such as fishing, boating and diving organisations. Robert Skrokov (Slovenian Maritime Administration) gave an overview of how a maritime administration and SAR is organised along Europe’s shortest coastline at 46.5 km. The Bora winds from the Alps which can average 125kph presents perhaps their greatest challenge which will be addressed in a new purpose built facility at Koper. Finally he outlined Slovakia’s new smartphone application for boaters. Johannes Bayer (Sea Watch e.V.) addressed the role of commercial and private vessels in SAR operations in particular following the end of Mare Nostrum off the Libyan coast where than more than 40% of rescues are carried out by NGO vessels in very difficult circumstances.

Afternoon Session 2: Increasing preparedness and collaboration for Mass Rescue Operations.

Tuukka Hoijer ( EBCA Frontex) gave an overview of the work of the Border Agency and its dependence on the Member States supporting their activities, focusing principally on the search and rescue operations off Libya and Turkey. Bertin Technologies gave the Conference a demonstration of Fusion Sight; a night and day vision enhancer for SAR Missions. Captain Jordi Nordstrom (IMRF) closed the day on presenting on the work of the International Maritime Rescue Federation and the ongoing work on Mass Rescue Operations.

We look forward to the final day of discussions and we will endevaour to keep you updated on the discussions.

Chris Reynolds


Irish Coast Guard

Irish Maritime Administration

Chairman of Maritime SAR

Leave a Comment