Founded as the International Lifeboat Federation at the first-ever International Lifeboat Conference in London in 1924, the IMRF has evolved to become the world’s leading charity that focuses on the development and improvement of global maritime SAR capacity in order to further reduce loss of life at sea.

For the past 100 years, the IMRF has brought together the world's leading maritime SAR organisations from around the world to provide a critical forum for the development of some of the biggest issues impacting maritime SAR operations, including vessel design and operation, lifesaving equipment and training, and personnel safety.

In 1985 it was granted non-governmental consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognition of the good work being undertaken and the growing need for an organisation to act as a global focal point for maritime SAR. In 2003, it was registered as an independent charity and in 2007 the organisation was renamed the IMRF, reflecting the broader scope of modern maritime SAR activity.

Today, the IMRF continues to have a leading voice in some of the biggest issues impacting maritime SAR organisations in 2024, including inclusivity, mental health and climate change through its various initiatives and subject matter expert courses, as well as in-person and online training sessions, that focus on mass rescue operations training and awareness amongst other leading issues.

“For more than 100 years, the IMRF has been a leading voice in the improvement of maritime SAR capabilities globally and I am incredibly proud to continue the work of so many of my predecessors as we continue to ensure we remain a vital part of the maritime SAR community for another 100 years and beyond,” said Caroline Jupe, Chief Executive Officer of the IMRF.

Woman Rescued 80km Off Japan Coast After 36 Hours at Sea Woman Rescued 80km Off Japan Coast After 36 Hours at Sea

“Having the IMRF bring together the world’s maritime SAR organisations and enable them to learn and collaborate with one another is imperative. The world’s oceans continue to be a challenging environment for personnel that put their own safety at risk and maritime SAR organisations are continuously improving and adapting to the challenges they face. We celebrate the IMRF spending 100 years driving this collaboration and ensuring the maritime SAR community can learn from one another,” said Jacob Tas, Chair of the IMRF.

“The maritime SAR community around the world plays a vital role in keeping people safe at sea and the IMRF has been a leading voice in that community for 100 years now. It is my honour to support the Federation during its centenary year. We will continue to champion the safety and security of all those who travel at sea over the next hundred years, including those SAR personnel who so courageously provide such important rescue services in every ocean,” said Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Patron of the IMRF.