3.1.1 Parties shall co-ordinate their search and rescue organizations and should, whenever necessary, co-ordinate search and rescue operations with those of neighbouring States.

3.1.2 Unless otherwise agreed between the States concerned, a Party should authorize, subject to applicable national laws, rules and regulations, immediate entry into or over its territorial sea or territory of rescue units of other Parties solely for the purpose of searching for the position of maritime casualties and rescuing the survivors of such casualties. In such cases, search and rescue operations shall, as far as practicable, be co-ordinated by the appropriate rescue co-ordination centre of the Party which has authorized entry, or such other authority as has been designated by that Party.

3.1.3 Unless otherwise agreed between the States concerned, the authorities of a Party which wishes its rescue units to enter into or over the territorial sea or territory of another Party solely tor the purpose of searching for the position of maritime casualties and rescuing the survivors of such casualties, shall transmit a request, giving full detail, of the projected mission and the need for it, to the rescue co-ordination centre of that other Party. or to such other authority as has been designated by that Party.

3.1.4 The responsible authorities of Parties shall:

  • .1 immediately acknowledge the receipt of such a request; and
  • .2 as soon as possible, indicate the conditions, if any, under which the projected mission may be undertaken.

3.1.5 Parties should enter into agreements with neighbouring States setting forth the conditions for entry of each other’s search and rescue units into or over their respective territorial sea or territory. These agreements should also provide for expediting entry of such units with the least possible formalities.

3.1.6 Each Party should authorize its rescue co-ordination centres:
.1 to request from other rescue co-ordination centres such assistance, including vessels, aircraft, personnel or equipment, as may be needed;
.2 to grant any necessary permission for the entry of such vessels, aircraft, personnel or equipment into or over its territorial sea or territory;
.3 to make the necessary arrangements with the appropriate customs, immigration, health or other authorities with a view to expediting such entry; and
.4 to make the necessary arrangements in co-operation with other RCCs to identify the most appropriate place(s) for disembarking persons found in distress at sea.

3.1.7 Each Party shall ensure that its rescue co-ordination centres provide, when requested, assistance to other rescue co-ordination centres, including assistance in the form of vessels, aircraft, personnel or equipment.

3.1.8 Parties should enter into agreements with other States, where appropriate, to strengthen search and rescue co-operation and co-ordination. Parties shall authorize their responsible authority to make operational plans and arrangements for search and rescue co-operation and co-ordination with responsible authorities of other States.

3.1.9 Parties shall co-ordinate and co-operate to ensure that masters of ships providing assistance by embarking persons in distress at sea are released from their obligations with minimum further deviation from the ships´ intended voyage, provided that releasing the master of the ship from these obligations does not further endanger the safety of life at sea. The Party responsible for the search and rescue region in which such assistance is rendered shall exercise primary responsibility for ensuring such co-ordination and co-operation occurs, so that survivors assisted are disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety, taking into account the particular circumstances of the case and guidelines developed by the Organization. In these cases, the relevant Parties shall arrange for such disembarkation to be effected as soon as reasonably practicable.

SAR Convention (1979) : http://www.imo.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/IndexofIMOResolutions/Maritime-Safety-Committee-(MSC)/Documents/MSC.70(69).pdf