Monday, May 4, 2009

Finding The Needle In The Haystack

What happens when the search and rescue alarm is sounded in your rescue coordination center? What happens when your command center receives a 406 EPIRB alert? You initiate your standard operating procedures, launch surface and air assets, check databases, and start making phone calls hoping for the best, right? What if we told you we could increase your search and rescue arsenal by over 3,500 surface assets in a matter of minutes? Hmm, did that get your attention?

If you are an international rescue coordination center you should be taking advantage of the Amver online surface picture request form. The what? The Amver online SURPIC request form. What is an Amver surface picture (also known as a SURPIC)? Read here to learn more.

The online request form is a web based feature offered by the Amver system that allows your rescue coordination center to quickly request Amver data for a specific location during actual maritime emergencies. Within minutes of making the request the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center will forward real time Amver vessel data to you to assist in the resolution of your SAR case.

So how do you request Amver data? Follow these simple steps and you are on your way to increasing your search and rescue resources exponentially.
  1. Click on the Request SURPIC button on the left side of the Amver homepage.
  2. Follow the instructions making certain to include contact information, nature of distress, distress location, and radius (if requesting a radial SURPIC).
  3. Enter validation text (helps us weed out spammers).
  4. Click the request button.
Does the online request feature work? Just ask the search and rescue professionals at MRCC La Reunion, MRCC Hong Kong, MRCC New Zealand, or any of the other international search professionals who have requested Amver data for emergencies in their search and rescue regions.

As search and rescue professionals we owe it to those in distress to increase the likelihood they will be rescued. Incorporating Amver data requests into your standard operating procedures doesn't guarantee a rescue, but it certainly increases the number of search assets.

Remember, this request procedure is for professional rescue coordination centers only. The United States Coast Guard does not release Amver data to anyone other than RCCs for any reason other than maritime emergencies.

Will your rescue coordination center start requesting Amver data? Have you used the SURPIC request form and have a success story to share? Tell us about it!

Photo credit: Fotolia

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