A New Year Message from the Chairman of the International Maritime Rescue Federation Michael Vlasto, OBE FRIN FNI
At the end of another year in the IMRF it is timely to reflect on what has been achieved and also what we need to focus on in 2012. In this newsletter you will read about the drive to improve communications with both members and potential members. Much has been done since the Congress in August and further action is planned. It does however require two participants for communication to work properly and I would ask you all to assist us in serving you better in this regard.
The World Maritime Rescue Congress in Shanghai was undoubtedly a highlight of the last four years and the Trustees, ably supported by the re-organised Secretariat, are working on delivering the agreed actions detailed in the QGM minutes now on the website. Our hosts, China Rescue and Salvage, really looked after us and many of you will have returned to your part of the world with warm feelings about our Chinese colleagues and their generous hospitality. New friendships were made and many bi-lateral initiatives started: if the IMRF can provide assistance or support in such areas please let us know.
Work will continue on both the Rescue Boat Guidelines and the Mass Rescue projects. A second Mass Rescue Conference is now being planned as a follow-up to the first one, to be held in Gothenburg again from 3-5 June 2012. There is more on this in this newsletter too.
Membership remains buoyant – but I would ask you all to encourage new members to join us. More members mean more experience and the possibility for more sharing of ideas, people and lifesaving skills. The IMRF is but a name without the members who provide the life blood of the organisation and also the means for it to meet its stated objective of reducing the loss of life on the world’s waters.
One particular action from the Congress that we want to move forward is the establishment of a better funding strategy to underpin the important work being carried out at the present time and also safeguard our longer term financial stability. With the re-organisation of the Secretariat nearly completed the next task is to follow up the offers of assistance from some of the members at
the Congress to improve our fundraising capability. We need to reduce our dependence on membership fees and a reliance on some disproportionate additional contributions from a few of the larger established members.
Thank you all for your ongoing support of the IMRF’s work. On behalf of the Trustees may I wish you good luck and success in your lifesaving endeavours wherever you are and whenever they take place: the saving of a human life is aboutas good as it gets!
Michael Vlasto, Chairman of the IMRF Trustees