Discussions ongoing for ASEAN agreement on search and rescue cooperation

The National Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (NSRCC) would like to respond to ‘Allow joint operations with neighbouring countries for search and rescue at sea’ by Local Observer published in the Opinion page of the Weekend Bulletin on October 19.

We thank the writer for sharing his/her concerns regarding search and rescue agreements with neighbouring countries related to the incident of missing fishermen reported in the Bulletin last August.

Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia have an Operational Letter of Agreement for the provision of Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services between the Department of Civil Aviation Brunei and the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia signed in 1998.

The agreement defines responsibility for search and rescue (SAR) operations between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia. Close coordination in SAR has been practiced since then. In the incident referred to by the writer, Brunei Darussalam, through the NSRCC, coordinated the SAR operation within Brunei Darussalam territory and requested Malaysia to undertake the SAR operation within the Malaysian territory.

Under ASEAN, discussions are ongoing for an ASEAN Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Cooperation. This agreement will cover cooperation in providing mutual support in joint SAR operations which also includes technical assistance to enhance SAR capability within the region.

For further information, the public can contact Search and Rescue Officer, NSARCC coordinator Hafizul Haji Abdul Hamid during office hours at 2330454/2332600 or via email: hafi[email protected]

Haji Awang Bujang bin Haji Tinkong

Acting Director of Civil Aviation

Chairman of National Search and Rescue Coordination Centre

File photo of a rescue helicopter. The National Search and Rescue Coordination Centre said that Brunei and Malaysia have an Operational Letter of Agreement for the provision of Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services signed in 1998. Discussions are also ongoing for an ASEAN Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Cooperation