SOLAS chapter V Safety of Navigation requires ships to carry an up-to-date copy of Volume III of the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual.
Jointly published by IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the three-volume IAMSAR Manual provides guidelines for a common aviation and maritime approach to organizing and providing search and rescue (SAR) services. Each volume (available separately in loose-leaf form, binder included) can be used as a standalone document or, in conjunction with the other two volumes, as a means to attain a full view of the SAR system.
The IAMSAR manual is divided into three volumes:
- Volume I, Organization and Management, discusses the global SAR system concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems and co-operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical SAR services.
- Volume II, Mission Co-ordination, assists personnel who plan and co- ordinate SAR operations and exercises.
- Volume III, Mobile Facilities, is intended to be carried aboard rescue units, aircraft and vessels to help with performance of a search, rescue or on-scene co-ordinator function, and with aspects of SAR that pertain to their own emergencies.