In April Norwegian trainers from Redningsselskapet (RS) were in Larache, Morocco working with SAR crew from the Morocco Ministry of fisheries rescue vessel Loukouss.
The training is part of the IMRF Global SAR development project which is looking at improving the SAR coordination and response in the African regions.
The Head of International Projects for RS, Vivi K. Lundgren Schumann, coordinated the activity with IMRF Regional Coordinator and Head of RCC Rabat, Mohammed Drissi.
An official ceremony was held to welcome the team from RS and reflect on both the value of these type of training events and the challenges SAR services face in Morocco.
RS instructors Christian Strøm and Tommy Gjerland identified "There is a difference in the type of operations we do in Norway and the operations they do in Morocco, but the basic skills needed to assist people and vessels in distress are pretty much the same all over the world."
The main focus with this SAR training course has been to demonstrate some of the SAR techniques used in Norway. Each day started with a lecture in the classroom followed by an exercise at sea. The purpose of the practical exercises is to see how the crew operates and solves the tasks in order to come up with suggestions for improvements.
"It is important to understand that our intention is not to criticise the way they solve the SAR operations but to see if our experience in this field can help the crew to improve their performance," says Vivi.
The training focused on First aid, including CPR and hypothermia as well as techniques for pickup of personnel from the water and search and rescue patterns. It also looked at crew safety, including fire at sea.
The training was a success with one of the key learnings being the importance of having clear communications in the dynamic maritime environment and also the need for regular exercises to ensure the team are clear about their responsibilities.
IMRF member RS have had a busy 24 months internationally with activities including providing a Rescue Cruiser and crew as part of the Frontex fleet patrolling the waters off Greece rescuing thousands of migrants in distress.
They also secured funding from the Norwegian ministry to support the development of the Hellenic Rescue Team, who were on the frontline of the migrant crisis, with training for the HRT volunteers at the RS training facility in Norway (see page 12) and on the waters of the Aegean Sea, as well as providing locally built rescue boats.