Mr Rongjun Zhang, acting manager of the IMRF Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRC), said “ The IMRF wants to raise the profile of maritime Mass Rescue Operations to encourage the development of plans and exercises to improve the preparedness of the rescue services to respond. We have in the last couple of months witnessed the tragic MRO accidents in China and the Philippines both of which highlighted the great challenge posed to SAR services when there are large numbers of people in the water requiring rescue. The goal of the workshop is to challenge the SAR organisations present to review their preparedness to manage such events and to help them consider the current gaps and how these can be addressed.”
The IMRF extends our thanks to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for hosting the MRO workshop and for incorporating the workshop into the maritime safety week. This allowed the delegates to attend the MPA Maritime Safety Forum with Bruce Reid providing a presentation on the “Vessel Triage System” and IMRF SAR Partners, McMurdo’s Randel Maestre a presentation on the “Future of SAR in Maritime”. The delegates also attended FEREX 2015 an on the water Ferry evacuation exercise run by the MPA.
In closing it is important to come back to the purpose of the event which was to raise awareness of the challenges SAR organisations will face when dealing with MRO. The closing message from the workshop says it all: It is not if, but when! Are you ready?
Image: IMRF MRO facilitator John Geel poses challenging questions at the MRO workshop.