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Gathering information

Page updated: 27 November 2020

If you're the Incident Controller, you need to get the right information quickly, and you need to verify and update it continuously.

Gather information as quickly as possible

You need to do this so you can:

  • assess the information and decide if a search and rescue response is needed
  • plan initial actions.

Gather these details for all incidents

  • The name and details of the informant (the person who raises the alert)
  • The emergency phase (uncertainty, distress, or alert) if known
  • The type of emergency and the general circumstances of the incident
  • The location of the incident
  • Whether the subject has any survival equipment
  • Whether the subject has any communication and or signalling equipment
  • The name of the subject
  • What the subject looks like
  • Information about the appearance of the subject that will help with identification
  • How the subject is likely to behave
  • Details and contacts for next of kin or people who have a close and obvious relationship to the subject but are not formally identified as next of kin

Gather these extra details for incidents involving vessels or aircraft

  • The details and contacts for the operator of the vessel or aircraft
  • The vessel or aircraft name, call sign, and type
  • The colour of the vessel or aircraft and any distinctive markings
  • The number of people on board
  • Any flight or voyage intentions or plans
  • The point of departure and departure time
  • The intended destination and estimated time of arrival
  • How long the aircraft can spend in cruising flight (endurance)
  • The details of the informant if they aren’t involved in the incident — record the name, location, contact numbers, and the informant’s relationship to the vessel or aircraft

You may not be able to get all the information the first time you communicate with someone about the incident. Gathering information is a continuous process. It must happen throughout a SAR operation.

Need to report someone lost or missing? call 111 - Ask for police