IAMSAR Manual - Volume I 2016 Edition (II960E)

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Published Date

May 2016

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IAMSAR Manual - Volume I 2016 Edition (II960E)

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Jointly published by IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the three-volume IAMSAR Manual provides guidelines for a common aviation and maritime approach to organizing and providing search and rescue (SAR) services. Each volume can be used as a stand-alone document or, in conjunction with the other two volumes, as a means to attain a full view of the SAR system.

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Volume I discusses the global SAR system concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems and co-operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical SAR services



Abbreviations and acronyms


Chapter 1 General system concept

1.1 Establishing services

1.2 Benefits of services

1.3 Legal basis for services

1.4 Basic system functions

1.5 System management and support

1.6 The global concept

1.7 National and regional systems

1.8 SAR and the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols

Chapter 2 System components

2.1 SAR as a system

2.2 Communications

2.3 Rescue coordination centres

2.4 Rescue sub-centres

2.5 SAR facilities

2.6 On-scene coordinator (OSC) and aircraft coordinator (ACO) joint training

2.7 Support facilities

Chapter 3 Training, qualification, certification and exercises

3.1 Building professionalism

3.2 Training specifics

3.3 Exercises

Chapter 4 Communications

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Basic functions and requirements

4.3 Important factors for SAR communications

4.4 Mobile equipment

4.5 Land-based infrastructure

4.6 Supplemental capabilities

4.7 MEDICO communications

4.8 Radio call signs for aircraft involved in a search and rescue operation

4.9 Social media

Chapter 5 System management

5.1 Understanding the SAR system

5.2 Planning processes

5.3 Organization

5.4 Resources

5.5 Leadership and operations

5.6 System assessment

5.7 Dealing with the media

Chapter 6 Improving services

6.1 Managing for success

6.2 Reducing system problems

6.3 Applying risk management

6.4 Cooperating to improve services

6.5 Reducing response time

6.6 Mass rescue operations

6.7 Multiple aircraft SAR operations

6.8 Research and development

6.9 Other factors

Appendix A Sample legislation establishing a SAR organization

Appendix B Supply colour coding and pictograms

Appendix C Sources for SAR assistance

Appendix D Information sources

Appendix E False alerts

Appendix F Alerting and locating capability preferences for new mobile satellite systems used for distress alerting

Appendix G Mobile communication services

Appendix H National self-assessment on search and rescue

Appendix I SAR agreements

Appendix J Sample SAR coordinating committee agreement

Appendix K Model agreement for the division of responsibility between the SAR Authority

and the Air Traffic Services provider in providing emergency response services for aircraft

Appendix L Applying risk management principles to assess SAR response and SAR system performance

Appendix M National responsibilities of Contracting States under international conventions

Appendix N Sample contract between RCC and TMAS for the provision of medical advice and assistance to masters of ships at sea

A​​s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.  

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Title: IAMSAR Manual - Volume I 2016 Edition (II960E)
Subtitle: International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual Volume I - Organisation and Management (2013 Edition)
Number of Pages: 130
Product Code: MM1059K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280116397, ISBN 10: 9280116398
Published Date: May 2016
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 297 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 7 mm
Weight: 0.50 kg
Author: IMO

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