The International Maritime Rescue Federation

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IMRF - The International Maritime Rescue Federation

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) was incorporated in 2003, having been established in 1924 as the International Lifeboat Federation (ILF).

The International Maritime Rescue Federation brings the world's maritime search and rescue organisations together in one global and growing family, having consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

IMRF member organisations share their lifesaving ideas, technologies and experiences and freely cooperate with one another to achieve their common humanitarian aim:-

"Preventing loss of life in the world's water"

Maritime emergency search and rescue services are provided free of charge to those in need. Without a direct revenue stream from their work, maritime search and rescue organisations depend heavily on external funding to maintain these vital lifesaving services, either on scarce government funding or, in many cases on the charitable generosity of the public at large.

By cooperating, through IMRF, with their fellow rescue organisations around the world, they can cost-effectively share the burden of developing rescue capability to meet ever-growing challenges, while learning from the ideas and experiences of others.

The IMRF is an accredited international charity with a history of achievement, delivering innovative, practical and measureable projects. The IMRF work directly with local, regional and international, teams and organisations to support the world's maritime SAR organisations.

IMRF - 90 Years of Achievement

Since foundation over 90 years ago member organisations have worked in unity to overcome many common challenges, openly sharing their ideas, developments and experiences for the benefit of all. Much of the lifesaving technology in common use today is as a direct result of this international cooperation.

IMRF members have also provided practical start-up assistance and encouragement to newly established and developing organisations which struggle to provide life-saving services in the developing world.

International Maritime Rescue Federation - Home >



IMRF in the Developing World

Unfortunately, water users in many less developed regions do not yet have safety and emergency services available to them. They depend heavily on their waters for food and transportation, and risk their lives every day just trying to survive.

Improvements in maritime safety can best be brought about if other social priorities (as expressed in the UN's Millennium Goals) are also properly addressed. Working directly with the local community and with other development partners, the IMRF seek to prevent further tragic losses of life and make real and lasting changes for the better.

IMRF in the Developed World

In most developed countries, thanks to the efforts of IMRF member organisations, those who get into trouble in the water can depend on timely and effective maritime rescue services.

IMRF members save thousands of lives each year. This humanitarian service is provided free of charge, in many cases by committed volunteers. Working together through the International Maritime Rescue Federation, members combine their strengths to address common challenges on the basis that:-

"Together we are stronger"

IMRF continue to use their Consultative status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to encourage sensible and practical regulation that does not impose significant cost on the ship owners but will improve safety. The IMRF is the only organisation at the IMO solely focussed on improving maritime SAR and safety for those heading out on the water.

Recently the IMRF successfully lobbied the IMO to maintain the status of maritime SAR as a main agenda item to be updated annually by the appropriate committees. The IMRF is also working closely with IMO to complete the global SAR Plan, the essential network of facilities for maritime SAR coordination across the world to provide a consistency of response and communication.

In 1999, the IMO awarded the prestigious "International Maritime Prize" for humanitarian work in saving lives around the world.

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