“We face the same challenges” - global search and rescue leaders meet in Wellington

2 October 2017

Search and rescue (SAR) leaders from 22 countries meet in Wellington this week to build ties and discuss how they work together.

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said in his conference opening address that search and rescue responders around the world face many of the same challenges. Distance is a hurdle to overcome when rescues take place in remote locations.

ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group

ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group
Maritime NZ © 2017
Keith Manch addresses the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group

It’s the first time New Zealand has hosted the workshop. Delegates attending the 24th ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on the Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime SAR have come from as far afield as Africa, Europe and North and South America.

The working group started in 1993 to ensure SAR practitioners around the world are using the latest techniques when using aircraft and ships for rescues.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ Manager Mike Hill says a major part of the week is sharing experiences. “A trend the global search and rescue community is seeing is the increase in distress beacon usage. They take the search out of search and rescue and save lives.”

The search and rescue leaders will visit RCCNZ on Thursday to see the team in action. RCCNZ is responsible for a search and rescue region that covers 30 million square km stretching from Antarctica almost to the equator.

Notes to editors

ICAO – the International Civil Aviation Organization – is a UN specialized agency that manages the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

All media releases

Subscribe Follow us News feed

Call the MNZ media line

Media centre

Additional information for media.
Media centre

Media archive

View our historic media releases.

Media archive