COSPAS-SARSAT is an international organization that coordinates search and rescue operations.

The COSPAS-SARSAT Organisation


The COSPAS-SARSAT uses its own satellite system that guarantees coverage of the entire planet (including the poles) to locate the position of rescue transmitters (such as the EPIRB or PLB) activated to request rescue.

The system was designed by Canada, France, the USA and Russia, then several other countries were later associated, including Italy, which has one of the most important centres in Bari, managing the service for the entire Mediterranean, Central Eastern Europe, part of Middle East Asia and part of Central Eastern Africa.

In Italy, the service is managed by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Department of Civil Protection, in collaboration with the General Command of the Harbour Offices.

How does the coordination of relief work work work?


When the rescue transmitter is activated, it transmits its identification data to the satellites that locate it and transmits the information to the COSPAS-SARSAT, then the competence centre is activated.

Before activating the SAR forces, the Competence Centre follows a verification protocol to ensure that it is not a false alarm.

One of the checks is to get the specific data of the rescue transmitter from your database and try to get in touch with the owner or family members. For this reason, it is essential to register your transmitter at the COSPAS-SARSAT competence centre.

If it is assumed that the alarm is not false or that the information needed to determine it is not available, the SAR forces are activated for the quickest possible rescue.