The first professional integrated (aero-naval) search and rescue (SAR) service in Romania – organized as a public-private partnership – was launched in the past few days at Tuzla. It is also the first Romanian SAR service set according to international standards in the ICAO Annex 2 and the ICAO – Doc. 7030, but also to the OGP standards.

Regional Air Services (RAS) and ARSVOM (Romanian Agency for Saving Human Lives on Sea) personnel were trained for the HHO (Helicopter Hoist Operator)/SAR missions under the attentive scrutiny of the famous German firm Heli Rescue Consult – a company with an old tradition and an impressive international portfolio. The two experienced trainers are Werner Greipll – a record man of saving people under difficult conditions, on and off land – and Herbert Graser – an ex-Airbus test pilot.


The final training took more than two weeks and consisted of multiple types of exercises – from rescuing personnel off very big ships like ALCOR (a ship belonging to a private operator that was contracted by Petrom for this purpose) or smaller crafts or rafts and also missions for single-person-rescue.
Although the highest work standards are followed (higher than usually practiced in Romania) – this aspect being saluted even by the international petrol organizations (OGP), this endeavor did not appeal to any public funds or resources.
This initiative is the only of its kind in Romania. The agreement between RAS and ARSVOM, the first aerial-naval integrated rescue system, describes thoroughly the details of the search and rescue procedures, being in perfect tune with the international legislation and the foreign SAR entities’ standards.


In this domain a common international terminology is necessary, thus Romania must make steps and serious efforts towards creating an entity, independent from political influences or obscure interests, which is meant to implement a viable SAR system. This entity should be internationally compatible and efficient and totally transparent in resource management and speedy interventions. Romanian present legislation does not allow such an entity to be created yet, but hopefully in the near future the necessary changes will be made.

The reform of the search and rescue services is absolutely necessary for ensuring the citizens’ rights and a safe environment for the Romanian economy – especially the offshore companies, like OMV Petrom, which strongly encourages this change. The strategic changes would also facilitate the access of foreign investors in high risk regions of our country. RAS and ARSVOM are the only entities working in favor of such a system, for the being moment.

RAS aspires towards following in the footsteps of the AVIASAN a tradition in search and rescue services – AVIASAN has had such SAR missions from 1967. Plus, the Tuzla company holds the national record for helicopter flight – at present they coordinate almost 80% of our national activity.
RAS will soon make new major investments (tens of millions of euro) for enriching its search and rescue fleet.

Photo: aviatim | 13.07.2016 |