IMRF and Inmarsat Deliver First ‘Train the Trainer’ GMDSS Course in Africa


The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and Inmarsat delivered the first maritime search and rescue Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) course in Morocco. Total seven maritime search and rescue (SAR) professionals, five from Morocco and one each from Senegal and Nigeria participated in the programme.

The GMDSS is an international system which uses approved terrestrial and satellite technology and ship-board radio systems. This technology enables shore-based rescue and communications authorities to receive an alert in case of an emergency at sea.

The course, which was delivered by John Dodd, Director of Safety Services, Inmarsat Maritime, covered latest developments in the new generation of GMDSS and SAR coordination and operations.

The training focused on applying technology to reduce the response times of the maritime rescue coordination centres, as well as sharing best practice in maximising efficiency in SAR operations by using vessels in the immediate vicinity. The seven course participants were keen to improve their knowledge in new satellite technologies that will further enhance safety of life at sea.

Inmarsat is an associate Member of the IMRF and sponsored this event as a contribution to the IMRF’s Global SAR Development Project in Africa, which will help improve SAR capability across 29 African countries, with a focus on building the capability of Rescue Coordination Centres, Rescue Sub-Centres and SAR Mission Coordinators.

Theresa Crossley, CEO, IMRF said, “This is the latest stage of our work in Africa to improve SAR knowledge and expertise, working with regional maritime rescue coordination centres to promulgate the latest information and expertise in the most efficient way possible – all with the objective of saving more lives at sea and in inland waters.”

Dodd added, “The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is implementing a complete overhaul and modernisation of GMDSS, and it is vital that all stakeholders are fully briefed on the system on which seafarers rely in the last resort.”

This year, Inmarsat has also been rolling out SafetyNET II, a web-based version of the SafetyNET messaging platform that supports GMDSS and SAR, while an IMO Sub Committee agreed that both FleetBroadband and Fleet One should be considered for formal GMDSS approval.

The IMRF has coordinated North and West Africa regional meetings for the IMO TCC, delivered training, helped to develop a regional SAR plan and improved operational cooperation and governance.

Sea News, December 5

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News