Study about volunteer groups' involvement in China maritime search and rescue / by Qin Huapu

Qin Huapu, World Maritime University


According to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, signatory states have the obligation to provide maritime search and rescue services. In order to comply with this obligation, various forms of maritime search and rescue services have been established all over the world. with the growing economy, merchandise trade and demand for maritime transport, search and rescue has become a higher priority in China. The issue of insufficient coverage of the national maritime search and rescue forces has arisen. In some developed countries, the national search and rescue duty is normally complemented by volunteer groups. This study tries to answer whether the experience gathered in developed countries can be transferred to China and feasible proposals can be made on the involvement of volunteer groups in China maritime search and rescue. Maritime search and rescue is a skill-based service. Organizing a maritime search and rescue volunteer group needs sufficient funds advanced equipment, scientific training system and qualified search and rescue volunteers. In this study, the history of maritime search and rescue volunteer organizations both in China and abroad are reviewed. Successful experiences of developed countries is summed up. Meanwhile, the contemporary situation in China is examined and some problems identified. By making comparisons, suggestions are made for China to further involve volunteer groups in maritime search and rescue with recommendations covering political, legal, financial educational and other relevant aspects.