Search and Rescue (SAR) systems can be established
on a national or regional level or both

Welcome to South African Search and Rescue Organisation (SASAR)

About us

Aviation and Maritime incidents and accidents, just like any other forms of disaster have inflicted a heavy loss in human lives and material. They represent a potentially significant obstacle to economic growth and development particularly if measures are not in place to deal with them effectively and efficiently.

As member of ICAO and the IMO as well as party to the relevant International Conventions, South Africa recognize the great importance of saving lives and the need to be directly involved in rendering aeronautical and maritime search and rescue service to person in distress. South Africa is also aware of its obligations in terms of these Conventions hence the Government involvement in the provision of these services.

South Africa also acknowledges that SAR is humanitarian in nature and accepts its moral obligation to assist craft and person in distress in terms of established international practice founded in international law. International law requires of signatory states to establish SAR systems on a multi-agency, regional or global basis to provide SAR services. South Africa has over the years, developed her own national SAR system that is being associated with other countries' SAR system through bilateral agreements.

Due to the limited SAR resources, South Africa has adopted a multi-agency approach in her implementation of the SAR Programme as evidenced by the number of organizations involved on a voluntary basis in the execution of this mandate.

The SAR capability in South Africa is in the hands of voluntary organizations, private undertakings and some government institutions whose core functions are not search and rescue. For these reasons there was a need to co-ordinate and manage these widely scattered and limited resources in an endeavour to provide South Africa with a world class search capability.

To this end, the South African Search and Rescue Organization (SASAR) was established to execute the search and rescue mandate in South Africa, as well as to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the management and implementation of the SAR Programme.


The vision of SASAR is of a SAR Programme that will best address all distress situation involving aviators and mariners in our search and rescue regions, by adopting and implementing systems and processes that will foster co-operation with relevant countries, promote the implementation of international best practices and enhance the economic, effective and efficient utilization of available resources.


To develop, maintain and implement an effective and efficient SAR system.


To provide South Africa with a national search and rescue capability, which is internationally competitive and acclaimed.

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