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International boost for Greece's SAR capability

International boost for Greece's SAR capability
International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), a global Search and Rescue (SAR) charity, is to bolster its local member body the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) with personnel and equipment from elsewhere in Europe.

In the face of the ongoing Mediterranean migration crisis, the move includes deploying volunteer support, equipment, training and rescue boats from other European member organisations in order to plug gaps in regional SAR.

Bodies providing assistance will include the UK and Ireland’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) and the German Maritime SAR Service (DGzRS).

As part of the plan, IMRF will establish a new lifeboat base on the Greek island of Chios, and will provide further support to grow their maritime SAR capability by providing advice in areas such as governance, maritime SAR management, public relations and fundraising.

“At the request of the Hellenic Coast Guard, our primary task will be to mentor and support the Hellenic Rescue Team to a point where they can be in a position to provide consistent and appropriate community-based SAR as an auxiliary to the Coast Guard across the four main island centres of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Kos,” said IMRF ceo Bruce Reid.

“The IMRF exists to help prevent loss of life in the world’s waters and we are daily seeing tragedies unfold in the Aegean Sea,” he added. “Through this coordinated effort from our members we hope to boost our fellow rescuers in Greece, help share some of the burden they carry and ultimately share our knowledge, expertise and resources to develop the local SAR community so fewer lives will be lost.”