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Global search and rescue leaders meet in Wellington

“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.

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.

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