Global SAR Plan

The Global SAR Plan and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Master plan of Shore Based Facilities (GMDSS Master Plan)

A global SAR plan has been developed, defining detailed responsibilities for each member nation and lists their SAR Authorities

  • MRCC – Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre
  • MRSC – Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre
  • ARCC – Aeronautical Rescue Coordiniation Centre
  • JRCC – Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (joint aeronautical and maritime)
  • JRSC – Joint Rescue Sub-Centre
  • RCC – Regional coordination centre
  • SRR – Search and rescue regions
  • CES – Coast Earth Stations
  • CS – Coast Stations
  • MCC – COSPAS-SARSAT Mission Control 


The Global SAR Plan is a necessary and practical tool for SAR operations.


A GMDSS Master plan has also been developed.  The Conference that adopted the SAR convention in 1979 and passed the resolution calling for the IMO to develop a global search and rescue, also called for the development by IMO of a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) to provide the communication support needed to implement the SAR plan.

The plan is based on both satellite and terrestrial radio services, and has changed international distress communications from being primarily ship-to-ship to primarily ship-to-shore, the Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs) playing a major role in the communication and coordination.

The GMDSS Master Plan contains all information necessary for such communication.

Please refer to global SAR Plan GISIS module for further details. Click on the icon below (log on to GISIS required).