IMRF holds first all-women SAR training in Morocco

Women In SAR course group 002As part of its ongoing #WomenInSAR initiative and in support of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) theme of empowering women, the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) held its first all-women maritime search and rescue (SAR) training in Morocco

The training, which took place from 13-15 November and was supported by the IMO, covered basic knowledge, practical exercise and best practice training to enable women to successfully manage rescue missions in their home countries in the future.

Theresa Crossley, CEO IMRF, said, “This course is part of our ongoing initiative to support and encourage #WomenInSAR wherever they are in the world.

“All around the world, there are women across the maritime SAR sector, from the teenager playing a vital role in a lifeboat crew, to the female CEO planning, resourcing and delivering a nationwide maritime SAR service, offering real examples of exceptionally brave and highly skilled women in pivotal roles.”

The course included classroom-based learning, practical exercise on a rescue boat and a visit to the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Rabat to understand operational coordination, the SAR hierarchy and different tasks. It also covered all the duties and responsibilities of the SAR search and rescue coordinator as defined in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR), Volume I.

The training seeks to address gender imbalance in maritime SAR. In many countries around the world, search and rescue is often still perceived as a male task, but in fact there are many women in important roles, proving that their gender does not have to be a barrier to their skills, expertise and success.

Twelve women attended the course, representing SAR organisations from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, Seychelles, Senegal and Morocco. It is hoped that, in time, they will be able to mentor and encourage other women to become maritime SAR professionals.

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