09.10.2012 - Outcomes of the 9-th Black Sea Search and Rescue Conference

   On 25-26 September 2012 the regular 9th Black Sea SAR Conference was held in Odessa. Ukraine is a Party of the International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS-74), which requires that its Parties should provide any possible measures, including those ofspecialised marine services established, to search and rescue people in distress in the high seas near their corresponding coastlines (Regulation SOLAS-74/V.7.1). A similar clause is provided as well by the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979 (Regulation SAR-79/2.1.1), Ukraine having joined by accession back in 1992, other regulations of which providing for creation of areas of responsibility of coastal states, delimitation of such areas between the neighbouring states the way to embrace the whole sea area concerned, as well as the states’ co-operation in SAR operations held near such area limits (SAR-79/2.1.3, 4 and 5). In order to both delimitate and fully embrace the Black Sea area, all the 6 Black Sea littoral states gathered in 1998 under the aegis of IMO in Ankara, Turkey, and signed the Agreement on Co-operation Regarding Search and Rescue Services among Black Sea Coastal States. Article 9 of the Agreement provides for annual meetings of representatives of the state SAR services in order to exchange information and discuss paramount issues concerned with the maritime search and rescue cooperation. However, such meeting started only in 2004 (Romania), then being held in each of the 6 countries by turn, including Ukraine having hosted the 2nd Conference in Odessa in 2005, so finally Ukraine’s turn came again in 2012 to hold the meeting in Odessa once more.

   The host party was State Enterprise “Marine Search and Rescue Service” as assigned by Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine. This forum served as a good reason to present to the foreign partners the enterprise’s main assets such as the brand-new SAR speedboats and General Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre equipped with the fresh modern facilities.

   The Conference summoned delegations from all the 6 Black Sea countries: Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine. They elected the Chairman – traditionally it was the representative of the hosting Party Capt. Igor Grets, Vice Director of SE MSRS.

   The delegations reported by way of national presentations about their current situations in the SAR activities: number and deployment of rescue units, their corresponding area and speed of response, the area’s coverage by communication systems, accident statistics etc.

   A particular item of agenda launched the discussion on false alerts that substantially complicate the rescue operations taking much time to identify the alert’s falseness and surcharging the communication channels. It was emphasised that the overwhelming majority of such alerts came as a result of substandard equipment purchased by low prices, or due to mere negligence or ignorance of rules and procedures regarding the employment of such equipment on the part of the crew.

   In respect of the conducting of joint SAR exercises, with concern of extreme complicacy and scarce feasibility of the overall Black Sea exercises, it was decided to start with sub-regional bi-or trilateral exercises for neighbouring countries, which had been already provisionally agreed upon between Ukraine and Russian Federation.

   The item regarding development of the general Black Sea SAR Plan was once more closely considered and finally exempted from the next session’s agenda as it seemed needless.

   The Conference approved the design of its Emblem that had been under consideration for 3 years. The next meeting to be held next year in Russian Federation – Novorossiysk or Taman – is going to pass under the new Emblem.

   The Conference approved the draft Agenda for its 10th session and brief Report on its work prepared by the staff of SE MSRS. All the guests expressed their gratitude towards the Ukrainian Party for the cordial welcome and comfortable working conditions, stressing in particular on the progress of Ukraine both in organisation of the search and rescue service and in its furnishing with the equipment.

Information and Analytical Division of SE “MSRS”

Report of 9th BS SAR Conference 2012

Report of 8th BS SAR Conference 2011

30.12.2016 - Report on the implications for conduct of search and rescue operations in the Northern part of the Black Sea

 “Marine Search and Rescue Service”

 


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