Our concept of operations is based on emergency response (search and rescue) paired with prevention. We operate to save lives, and endeavour to deploy whenever safety possible when a life is understood to be at-risk within our Area of Operations.
Tanzania Sea Rescue operates a volunteer-run inshore lifeboat. Our volunteers are not permanently at our station waiting for distress calls: they go about their ordinary lives nearby, but drop what they are doing to report as quickly as possible when they receive an emergency call. We aim to have our crew at the lifeboat station within 15 minutes, and within another 15 minutes have our lifeboat kitted up with equipment stored on-shore, off the mooring, and under way.
Our Area of Operation is a function of what we can safely cover: In the initial stages this will be very limited, but with experience –– and with the help of private donations and sponsors that allow us to invest in improved equipment –– this safe operating area will expand, allowing us assist with more challenging rescues and cover a wider area.
Water safety education
Tanzania Sea Rescue’s community education program is geared towards ensuring that accidents are avoided, and that victims of accidents know how to call for help and stay safe until it arrives. In parallel with our launch of rescue-response lifeboat service, we will be rolling-out our education program based on the message of “Dakika Mbili” (“Two Minutes”): because even if our lifeboat volunteers mobilise and deploy with record speed, if you pass beneath the waves for just two minutes we will always arrive too late. We believe everyone should have an healthy respect for the water, and should learn how to Stay Floating, Be Visible, and Call For Help.
How to request assistance
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is the country’s official agency for coordination of rescues at sea, and is the official point of contact for anyone requesting life-saving assistance at-sea. The MRCC will task the most appropriate asset to come to your support: This may be TSR, or it may (for example) be another vessel already operating in close vicinity and therefore able to come to your assistance more quickly.
MRCC Phone: 0800 110 019 / 0800 110 020 / 0767 886 295
MRCC VHF: Channel 16 (international channel for alerts)
If a TSR volunteer learns by some other means of a life in at-risk within our Area of Operation, our crews may mobilise in coordination with the MRCC.
Making sure you have a VHF radio and/or dry and charged mobile phone (provided you are within GSM range) is among the most important things you can do to help protect your safety. It may be the only way that you can get an alert out so that we may come to your assistance.
TSR’s impact vision
We strive for a day that our sea claims no more lives. Tanzania Sea Rescue’s long-term plan is to develop a chain of such lifeboat stations around the country. Each station will help us better protect all who use our waters, and help encourage behaviours that reduce the risk of accidents. We also wish to expand our service to include related activities such as support to beach lifeguarding, flood rescue, etc. All of these require additional specialty skills and resources: to ensure it can operate sustainable and effectively, TSR will consider such activities only once its first lifeboat station at Msasani is a demonstrated success.