Here one of our newest members, MRCC Abidjan, describes their SAR capability as well as the already established connection to the IMRF
MRCC Abidjan (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Abidjan) started officially in August 2010 and is operated by Cote d’Ivoire Maritime Authority-Directorate General of Port and Maritime Affairs (DGAMP). MRCC Abidjan coordinates maritime SAR emergencies in Côte d’ Ivoire waters.
The MRCC monitors distress frequencies, relays distress messages, acknowledges distress calls and assists in SAR mission coordination.
It is staffed full time to ensure prompt reception and dissemination of distress messages. According to the resolutions of the IMO conference held in Florence/Italy in 2000, MRCC Abidjan is one of the sub-centres of the Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (zone 2), it also monitors and evaluates Maritime Safety Information and manages the reception and dissemination of Maritime Security Information.
The MRCC is the SAR focal point, it is open 24/7 and is responsible for coordinating search and rescue in Ivorian waters. In response to an alert, the MRCC undertakes a series of actions according to the established procedures, starting from the sharing of information with the Operational Center of the Ivorian Navy, until the determination of the required assistance.
Security duties include the reception of alerts, the collection and broadcasting of security information. Since 2010, Abidjan MRCC has also become involved in security missions.
For most missions in Ivorian waters, MRCC Abidjan relies on the Navy and the rescue tugs of a towing company, IRES. MRCC Abidjan does not have command of the naval assets directly but requests them according to the type of assistance required to carry out a maritime mission.
Thanks to the International Maritime Organization, Ivorian Government and US Department of Transportation the MRCC has the communication technology listed. With this equipment, the MRCC receives both ship and earth station alerts.
These are sent to naval forces, and to other centres in the sub-region, in accordance with the multilateral agreement signed in Monrovia with Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2007.
Despite progress since the installation of Abidjan MRCC, many challenges remain. These challenges can be expressed in terms of:
|-||Capacity building of the staff;|
|-||Information sharing with other MRCCs and / or other Operational Centres (MOCs);|
|-||Budgets substantial enough for operations and for the financing of activities;|
|-||Advanced equipment for the reinforcement of surveillance means (Radar, Rescue boats).|
The staff that man the MRCC have received various training thanks to partners like IMRF which has supported the MRCC since 2014.
Shown above is a training session held in December 2017 with the support of IMRF and the Kingdom of Morocco.