Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue & Coordination Center

In the year 2000, the I.M.O. hosted a conference for SAR (Search and Rescue) and GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) in the city of Florence, Italy. At the end of that conference, in the bigger scheme of creating a global Search and Rescue Plan, it was decided that five rescue coordination centers would be strategically prepositioned on the continent of Africa.

Many advances have been made in marine technology and the development of higher training and qualification standards for seafarers; ships are definitely safer, but accidents still can and do happen. It is in these times that the very lives of our offshore mariners and aviators depend on someone being there to receive their distress calls and coordinate their rescue efforts. This is a need that cannot be overemphasized.

The inauguration of the first center was in May 2006, in Mombasa, Kenya. The second was January 2007, in Cape Town, South Africa. May 2008 was the opening of the third center in the City of Lagos, Nigeria. April 23, 2009 marked the day of the commissioning of MRCC Liberia, the fourth of the five planned centers for the continent of Africa. The regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) is for the nations of Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Côte d'Ivoire. The Center is critical in coordinating and executing the search and rescue of people in distress at sea, thereby increasing the chances that those who find themselves in distress will be able to reach shore safely. As the sub-regions only rescue coordination center, it also strengthens the sub-region's measures on maritime security. The MRMRCC is being executed with support from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and in collaboration with Liberia's Ministry of Defense re-activated National Coast Guard. MRMRCC has the Authority's full support in equipping the center to be a more active maritime asset in promoting and advocating marine safety, safe vessel transit and navigation, etc, in keeping with international standards.

Strides were made at a regional meeting held in Rabat, Morocco, from March 23-26, 2009 for the pending establishment of the fifth and final continental IMO Rescue Co-ordination Center in Morocco, with the participation of the Republics of Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, and Senegal.

The MRMRCC covers the whole region encompassing the territorial waters of Liberia and her four neighboring countries, as of the signing of the November 2007 multilateral agreement between the respective governments of Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d'Ivoire. This will fill a sizable coverage gap in the middle Atlantic Ocean, an area in which many ships of all nations regularly transit, thereby giving the center a vital part to play in the larger scheme of providing effective Search and Rescue coverage on the West Coast of Africa.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Firstly ensure, at best to apply the guidance of the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual regarding SAR operational procedures and communications

2. Generate policies, procedures and Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency in the day to day running of the rescue center

3. Respond to all incoming hailing and distress calls

4. Coordinate and oversee expeditiously all regional Search and Rescue(SAR) efforts rendered to offshore mariners and aviators

5. Man communications, surveillance and monitoring equipment 24 hours a day, 365 days, with appropriate personnel

6. Effect a system of drills and continuous training locally and abroad for staff members, to ensure that they are proficiently competent in the tasks asked of them; including being acquainted with the operations, capabilities, and limitations of all equipment on site at the rescue center

7. Work to build relations and alliances locally and internationally with collaborating agencies, governments, and ministries through some of the below listed means;

   - encouraging joint training and other exercises
   - inter-agency and inter-governmental exchange of pertinent SAR communications, and other information
   - consolidating assets and resources where possible

8. In keeping with the growth objectives of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), continuously strive to increase the logistical capacity of the rescue center

Current Capacity:
   - Explorer 700: E-1          #0087 0772 222716          IOR
   - Explorer 700: E-2          #0087 0772 222715          IOR
   - INMARSAT C Terminals:          # 580-460173-111          AOR-E
   - INMARSAT C Terminals:          # 580-460199-019          AOR-W
   - International Fax:          # (+231) 2430-0011
   - International Landline:          # (+231) 770-092229
   - International Cellular & SMS:          #(+231) 573-0144
   - VHF-DSC Radio

Become a more active maritime asset in promoting and advocating marine safety, safe vessel transit and navigation, etc, in keeping with international standards

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