An effective search and rescue at sea: existing problems and possible solutions

Jānis Grasis, George Chakhvadze

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The aims of this article is to overview the comprehensive global framework of search and rescue at sea and analyse existing problems. In our view, taking into account the fact that SAR conventions are universally agreed, any revisions to these treaties represent impractical task. Thus, apart from focusing on the problems of international regulation, it focuses on the necessity for states to understand their responsibilities and implement their national SAR systems. The SAR Convention provides the separate definitions of Search and Rescue. Under the SAR Convention search is ,, an operation, normally co-ordinated by a rescue coordination centre or rescue sub-centre, using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress”, while rescue is ,,an operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs, and deliver them to a place of safety”. When defining the objective of the article it is appropriate to determine why do we need Search and Rescue? One can say, that any disaster at sea is not somebody’s fault. It is states responsibility: all the businesses and commerce depends on SAR system. The aim of the paper is to analyse international regulatory framework of SAR and thus, primarily uses doctrinal and analytical methods. The comprehensive analysis of regulatory framework of search and rescue has some fundamental shortcomings. First of all, it contains no provision on land search and rescue. Secondly, its very depemndant from state cooperation. However, in our view, the problems with search and rescue are not conventions alone as conventions need states to realize them in practice. We believe that it could be several possible solutions to the identified problems. First, to use case-study system as applied by the United States of A. Other possible solutions may include strong interstate cooperation, policy measures and training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: PLACES - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 25 Mar 202125 Mar 2021
Conference number: 2


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: PLACES
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 5.5 Law

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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