Posted on 30 May 2019
SAWS Marine showcased its maritime search and rescue support services, and shared insights into southern hemisphere maritime weather and safety at the conference.
The SAWS Marine Unit was invited to present at the 2019 Maritime Search and Rescue (MSAR) Conference, held in Tallinn, Estonia from 14-16 May. The conference brought together professionals from private companies as well as government agencies from across the globe. Delegates represented a diverse range of involvement with maritime search and rescue (MSAR), including producers of information for MSAR support (e.g. environmental information), engineering R&D (new vessels and equipment), MSAR operations (coastguard-type personnel) and search and rescue planners.
SAWS Marine attended the conference as a producer of marine environmental information, which is critically important for MSAR. Involvement with the maritime and MSAR community is a cornerstone of SAWS Marine activities. This is reflected in SAWS’s participation in the South African Search and Rescue (SASAR) organisation within the Department of Transport, and our collaborations with the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and South African Navy Hydrographer (SANHO).
The Unit has also engaged with the South African Maritime Safety Authority’s (SAMSA) maritime safety community, after presenting SAWS’s new MSAR capabilities at this year’s South African Maritime Safety Conference, held in Durban from 27-28 March. Further, SAWS Marine will be assisting SAMSA’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) with MSAR-planning training towards the end of May, ensuring that the importance of metocean information in the hunt for missing persons at sea is well understood.
In Tallinn, SAWS Marine provided a southern hemisphere perspective on MSAR to an otherwise-northern hemisphere dominated agenda. This included details of the MSAR landscape in South Africa, as well as specialist marine forecasting capabilities which SAW Marine is tailoring to support maritime safety and MSAR. Finally, SAWS’s involvement with Operation Phakisa, the National Ocean and Coastal Information Management Systems (OCIMS) and its Ops@Sea Decision Support tool were also presented.
It was a pleasure to exchange ideas about how best to enhance our support to this vital community, which ensures that South African territorial waters, the lifeline of our economy, remain safe.