Sunday, October 11, 2009

Updated Coast Guard SAR Addendum

Originally posted to the United States Coast Guard Search and Rescue Blog; On Scene.

A new edition of the U.S. Coast Guard Addendum (COMDTINST M16130.2E) to the United States National Search and Rescue Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR) was signed and released on 21 Sep 2009.

This revision establishes several new policies as well as updates throughout the manual. The transmittal letter contains a detailed listing of changes. A summary of major changes include the following:
  • Adds the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) as the primary search planning tool with associated changes in search planning procedures.

  • Updates for implementation of the RESCUE21 Communications System.

  • Wording changes to reinforce and more clearly define SAR Mission Coordinator (SMC) as a particular individual that is assigned for each SAR case.

  • Includes changes to reflect the Coast Guard reorganization.

  • Updates the policies and guidance for the training, qualification and certification of SAR watchstanders and SAR chain of command.

  • Updates Program goals to include Lives Unaccounted For (LUF).

  • Updates policy on SAR agreements to require all agreements to have provisions for canceling and amending.

  • Adds policy on release of names during active SAR cases, allows disclosure until the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) System case is closed. Post case release subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts.

  • Adds requirement that all case studies be prefaced with the purpose of SAR case studies provided in paragraph

  • Removes language that each Department of Defense (DOD) service provides SAR for own forces, adds requirement for CG SAR Coordinator to coordinate with DOD services within their SAR region and to implement agreements as necessary to provide for SAR for DOD forces and to utilize DOD forces in SAR response.

  • Allows for either CG or DOD SMC for cases involving DOD forces in distress, and adds direction for immediate CG response and a requirement to notify the Air Force RCC for all incidents of DOD forces in distress.

  • Removes STAR-CG Service except for Alaska.

  • Adds new section on CG Auxiliary Interpreters, availability and how to access.

  • Expands discussion on First Light Serches following flare sightings. Includes further considerations for non-red/red-orange flares and other pyrotechnics and investigation time versus survival time and ultimate decision to dispatch resources in a timely manner.

  • Adds policy for continuing search during darkness or other periods of reduced visibility.

  • Adds policy on First Light Searches for other (non-flare) distress alerts. Requires additional searches if the first search was conducted at night or under reduced visibility.

  • Adds requirement for Search Action Plans for all searches beyond initial response.

  • Expands SAR case documentation and records policy and guidance.

  • Revises policy for required semi-annual meetings with commercial assitance providers to allow flexibility. Details who shall represent the CG and minimum topics to be covered at each meeting.

  • Adds clarification that the final decision to reside on scene to conduct or not conduct medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) resides with the Aircraft Commander, cutter Commanding Officer or Boat Coxswain.

  • Expands discussion on air transportation between medical facilities to highlight the balance between medical care and appropriate use of CG resources

  • Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoy (SLDMB) updates for incorporating data into SAROPS, expanded details on when and how SLDMBS shall be used, increased SLDMB deployment parameters, and policy and guiance on using SLDMBS to mark floating objects with no obligation to mark abandoned vessels with SLDMBS.

  • Adds new policy on rescuing pets and other animals.

  • Includes comprehensive abbreviations and acronyms listing.

  • Made several significant changes in the appendicies.
    (1) Expands policy and guidance on SAR data entry in MISLE.
    (2) Adds medical protocol for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
    (3) Delete old Appendix L, STAR-CG Agreement example.
    (4) Adds new Appendix L, CG Legal Authorities references.
    (5) Removes Appendix M, COMSAT-C Web Interface.

Initial distribution of the U.S. Coast Guard Addendum will be electronically to Coast Guard units. District and Sector Command Centers should print a copy locally for use within the Command Center.

The electronic version of the U.S. Coast Guard Addendum can be accessed at the CG Directives System at the following site:

quick link to CG Addendum
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