Following his succession to the post of IIMS President in June 2014, one of Capt. Bertrand Apperry’s first pleasurable jobs has been to select a charity for IIMS members to support during his term in office over the coming two years.
The President’s nominated charity is the French based Les Sauveteurs en Mer S.N.S.M., an organisation that saves the lives of seafarers and the public in and around the French coastline and waters.
Their mission is stated as follows:
‘With our constant and unyielding commitment to the safety of users of the sea, we set many goals to provide the public with an increasingly efficient service and allow Sea Rescue to take place in the best conditions. Today, we optimise the efficiency of rescue at sea and around the French coastline built on innovation, prevention and training’.
Les Sauveteurs en Mer S.N.S.M. has 221 stations ready to intervene when required. They have about 4,400 volunteer rescuers who are involved and who live up to 20 miles from the French coast. These volunteers are located at over 200 hundred stations with rescue lifeboat. There fleet of rescue boats numbers almost 600 boats in total, including jet skis and they have a great deal of technical equipment with which to save lives. To act in the shortest possible time, each station has a crew of between 10 and 40 volunteers they can call on night and day. Thanks to their expertise, their adaptability, their equipment and also their deep commitment, they are able to respond effectively to any rescue situation, whether it is a failure, a leak on board, a stranding, a nursing or medical evacuation, or a falling overboard.
Astonishingly in 2013, Les Sauveteurs en Mer S.N.S.M. rescued 7,604 people as a result of 3,372 rescue operations, which totalled 6,358 hours of time.