Preparing to be unprepared – training for Mass Rescue Operations
Other conference contribution, 2019

“Preparing to be unprepared” might be considered as a contradiction in terms, but is in the case of maritime mass rescue operations (MRO) vital to be able to save lives. The international Maritime Organization defines MRO as “…the need for immediate response to large numbers of persons in distress, such that the capabilities normally available to the search and rescue authorities are inadequate”. This paper recognizes the work on MRO carried out by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and provides a theoretical framework on how to understand the complexity of such an operation. The IMRF has over the last decade within their MRO project produced guidance papers, conferences, workshops and courses with the objective to increase awareness and knowledge about, probably the most challenging Search And Rescue (SAR) operation in order to be able to save lives. One of the steps was the creation of a course (MRO – Subject Matter Expert course) for personnel having responsibility for complex incident planning and training at a national or on a major organizational level. The learning objectives for the course which is described in detail in this paper includes an enhanced ability to identify, analyse and understand the problems, and to propose solutions. The scale, complexity and rarity of a MRO calls for a thorough understanding of the preparatory needs. In this paper we discuss preparedness using the Cynefin framework as a theoretical backdrop looking at different decision making processes present during MRO planning and execution.


Lars Axvi

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Fredrik Forsman

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

World Maritime Rescue Congress
Vancouver, ,

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Business Administration

Information Science

More information

Latest update

5/3/2022 8