The Pacific Search and Rescue Steering Committee (PACSAR) is committed to working with other Pacific Island countries or territories within or neighbouring their areas of responsibility to build search and rescue response capability.

Representatives from 17 Pacific Island countries and territories, and development partners met in Auckland, endorsing the PACSAR Steering Committee Strategic Plan 2017–2021 and affirming commitment to promote the plan at the highest level of their respective governments to ensure progress in its implementation.

The workshop also applauded Fiji as the fifth member of the PACSAR steering committee.

“We are happy to join the PACSAR steering committee and are committed to work with other principals of the steering committee to build SAR capability and cooperation, working with those countries, which falls under Fiji Search and Rescue Region (SRR),” Senior Administrative Officer of the Security Forces Division, Ministry of Defence, Vanavasa Vono, said.

The PACSAR steering committee will be guided by the four pillars of their plan: responsible SAR governance, efficient SAR coordination, effective SAR operational response and SAR prevention.

Pacific Island delegates have recognised that the maritime SAR technical arrangement for cooperation among Pacific Island countries and territories that supports international life-saving in the Pacific Ocean (SAR TAfC), establishes a regional framework for SAR coordination, communication, cooperation and planning.

The workshop also noted that the SAR Arrangement has been signed by nine countries and territories so far and applauded the signature by Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Solomon Islands.

“With us signing the SAR Arrangement, upon receiving information of a maritime incident where any person is in distress within its respective geographic area of maritime SAR responsibility, we intend to take urgent measures to provide assistance, regardless of the nationality or status of such a person or the circumstances in which the person is found,” Cook Islands Commissioner of Police, Maara Tetava, said.

At the close of the workshop, United States Coast Guard offered to host the Eighth Pacific Regional Search and Rescue Workshop in 2019.

Jointly hosted and organised by the Government of New Zealand with the support of the International Maritime Organization and the Pacific Community (SPC), the Seventh Pacific Regional Search and Rescue Workshop ended in Auckland on 26 May.

Media contact:
Atishma Lal, SPC Project Information Assistant, [email protected] or +679 9338262.
About Us:
The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members. See http://www.spc.int/.

Useful link
To access workshop agenda and presentations
http://www.spc.int/edd/en/section-01/transport/341-seventh-pacific-regional-search-and-rescue-sar-workshop

Other links
http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/about/what-we-do/safety-and-response/RCCNZ/