The guide has been prepared jointly by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“This guide is extremely important as it sets out the relevant legal framework for the rescue of persons in distress at sea,” said IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu.
“Our noble tradition of search and rescue enshrined in SOLAS and UNCLOS must be maintained. However, at the same time, it has to be recognized that our system is not designed for rescuing hundreds of thousands of people. We need to prevent the large flow of maritime passage on board unseaworthy craft or we need to rescue them by specifically arranged rescue facilities,” Mr. Sekimizu said.
The guide is intended for use by ship masters, ship operators and Governments. Printed versions will be distributed to ships and fishing vessels by Member States, while the online version can be downloaded from the websites of IMO, UNHCR and ICS.
The six language versions can be downloaded here.