Search and Rescue
Our team operate aboard our nimble rescue boat Mo Chara, which means 'My Friend' in Gaelic. She is an ex-RNLI Atlantic 75, built to get people to safety fast. From rescuing people abandoned at the foot of inaccessible cliffs, to intercepting fragile dinghies and guiding them to safe landing zones, to facilitating transfers with authority vessels: the skilled Refugee Rescue crew are ready to launch within minutes.
Alongside our life-saving work at sea, we have an outstanding onshore team that keeps watch along the treacherous coastline. When our spotters identify a boat in difficulty, they mobilise the North Shore group for Emergency Response. All our volunteers are trained in emergency communications, including how to identify a refugee boat in distress and guide Mo Chara to the scene.
When people arrive having made the crossing, they are often cold and wet. Dehydration and hypothermia are a real problem, and medical support is often required. Our volunteers work alongside partner organisations to administer basic humanitarian aid and provisions. This includes distributing dry shoes, clothes, tea, food, blankets and emergency supplies.
Beyond the work we do on the ground, we are expanding our attention to challenge an increasing threat to Search and Rescue, in the context of migration. Refugee Rescue is a founding member of the Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean [SAROBMED] and is working hard to bring the issues we face to a wider audience.