3.1 When ships assist persons in distress at sea, co-ordination will be needed among all concerned to ensure that all of the following priorities are met in a manner that takes due account of border control, sovereignty and security concerns consistent with international law:

 

Lifesaving

All persons in distress at sea should be assisted without delay.

 

Preservation of the integrity and effectiveness of SAR services

Prompt assistance provided by ships at sea is an essential element of global SAR services; therefore it must remain a top priority for shipmasters, shipping companies and flag States.

 

Relieving masters of obligations after assisting persons

Flag and coastal States should have effective arrangements in place for timely assistance to shipmasters in relieving them of persons recovered by ships at sea.

 

Source: MSC.167(78)