Michael Vlasto, IMRF Chairman, and Captain Song Jiahui, President of China Diving and Salvage Contractors Association and IMRF Trustee, visited local Chinese Maritime Safety Administrations (MSAs) and Rescue Bases operated by IMRF Members China Rescue and Salvage (CRS) in the cities of Dalian and Tianjin during Michael's trip to China to attend the third IMRF Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) board meeting in December.
When visiting the MSAs, our Chairman was given a general introduction to the organizational structure, emergency plans, coordination procedures and SAR assets in the Bohai Bay area of the North China Sea. He said how much he appreciated the effort and contribution which China has made in the development of maritime SAR. Noting the IMRF's consultative status at the IMO, he hoped that the IMRF and Chinese SAR organisations will continue to work together to promote global SAR capability and save more lives at sea.
When visiting the rescue bases of CRS, Michael – recently retired Operations Director of the UK & Ireland's Royal National Lifeboat Institution – was interested to see the former RNLI Arun and Tyne class lifeboats imported to China nearly 10 years ago. He noted the high standard of their maintenance by CRS since. Captain Song said that the cooperation between CRS and RNLI, including the intro-duction of the lifeboats, had been a major factor in CRS's progress over the last decade.
The APRC Board Meeting agreed a number of actions for the Centre's 2015 work plan, to help the IMRF to develop its business in the Asia-Pacific region. The APRC will work closely with IMRF members and other maritime SAR organisations in the region to help improve the regional response and coordination capability. A regional meeting, maritime SAR training, and a mass rescue workshop and seminar are the key projects that APRC will promote in 2015.
Go to the APRC Website for details.