The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), at its 99th session, adopted the Amendments in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Procedures for amending and updating the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual. The Committee agreed that the amendments should become applicable on July 01, 2019.
SOLAS regulation V/21 requires all ships to carry an up-to-date copy of IAMSAR Manual Volume III. A new point 1.8 has been included in the Manual for the search and rescue operations (SAR) by maritime rescue services in time of armed conflict.
Recognizing the important role search and rescue operations play in implementing its provisions, GC II extends protection to small coastal rescue craft and fixed coastal rescue installations used by such craft, such as rescue coordination centres, repair boats, sickbays and hangars for their humanitarian mission, including for SAR operations concerning civilians.
Such craft and their associated fixed coastal rescue installations, when employed by a State that is party to a conflict (whether by its armed forces or by civilian governmental agencies) or by officially recognized lifeboat institutions (i.e. the institution must have been approved or authorized by a governmental authority or other public body to perform coastal rescue functions, which presupposes the existence of a legal or administrative framework in the State in which the lifeboat institution operates to provide for its prior approval or authorization in peacetime) “shall be respected and protected, that is, may not be attacked, captured or otherwise prevented from performing their humanitarian tasks, so far as operational requirements permit“.
International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual