Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Mathieu, Charles E.
The main reason for embarking on this topic is the urgent necessity for establishing a "Search and Rescue Service" in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Many disasters have been caused by a minor accident such as "electrical spark", or a match stick, hesitation in taking actions to avoid collisions, which result in loss of lives and property. To minimize such losses one must have a responsive Search and Rescue Service, which unfortunately is not properly established in the Kingdom. The area is congested with traffic without any search and rescue coverage by the Kingdom or even neighbouring countries, which should be available in all coastal states to render such services. This is part of the coastal states international obligation as stated in :- 1) The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS '74), Regulation 15 - Chapter V. 2) The UN Convention on the High Seas, 1958 - Article 12(2). 3) The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1978' (UNCLOS III). Article 98 (2) refers to: Duty to render assistance. As I have discovered, carrying out research in this field was hard but my educational background and speciality as a technical person (Marine Engineer) have assisted greatly whilst conducting such a task. However, because of the importance and necessity of this topic for the Kingdom which oversees two strategic maritime zones (the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf) each as important as the other, and since the Kingdom is the leading country in the region in many aspects, she must obviously and automatically play the leading role and take the necessary steps to establish such a valuable and active service in the field of "Search and Rescue". She should take into consideration her ability to conduct such a service after careful study and well established research nationally, regionally, and internationally. Therefore this study has chiefly been derived from information provided by states which have had considerable experience in the field of Search and Rescue, e.g. Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. The study and research was not limited to reading their publications. Field visits were made to most of them mainly: United States of America, the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the host country of the World Maritime University - Sweden. Even though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the means to establish a "Search and Rescue Service" with the latest techniques available, my study was based on providing practical and economical "Search and Rescue" coverage of the area.