269
1 INTRODUCTION
Accidents happen across the Earth, in all life and
worksurroundings:onland,intheair,onwaterand
in the space. Fast technicaltechnological
development, increased number of participants in
trafficandrapidpaceofeverydaylivinghaveledto
more common accidents which entail multiple
destructiveimpact
sonhumankind.
The consequences of accidents on water surfaces
have prompted the proposition and passing of a
numberofinternationallawsandregulations within
certain areas: the safety of navigation and life
protectionatsea,organisation,tasksandactivitiesof
theforcesengagedinsearchandrescueofpeopleand
ma
terialresourcesatseaandtheprotectionofseaand
costalareafromthepollutioncausedbyuncontrolled
leakage and spreading of liquids, gasses and other
hazardousmattersafteranaccident.
The increased number, amount and density of
naval and other means of transport have brought
about higher level and int
ensity of inland water
transport, and other means of traffic within inland
waters
1
which has produced a greater number of
1
Inlandwatersencompassrivers,canals,andlakesonthemain
landterritoryofastate.(author’sremark)
Model of the Search and Rescue operations in
Republic of Serbia
S.Šoškić,J.Ćurčić&L.Karapetrović
UniversityofDefence,MilitaryAcademyofTheRepublicofSerbia
ABSTRACT: The IAMSAR Manual contains practical guidelines for the organisation of maritime and
aeronauticalSAR,missioncoordination,operationsofsearchandrescueunits(SRUs)andprovisionofSAR
relatedtraining.RCC(rescuecoordinationcenter)‐aunitresponsibleforpromotingefficientorganizationof
searchandrescueoperationswithinasearchandrescueregion.RescueCoordinationCentre(R
CC)meansa
designatedcoordinationcentrethatactsasthenationalSearchandRescueRegionʹscoordinationcentreandthe
international point of contact for search and rescue (SAR) services and that takes care of the continuous
maintenance of coordination and communication preparedness and coordinates SAR operations within it
s
SearchandRescueSubRegion(SRS).
DefinitionoftearmsSearch:Anoperation,normallycoordinatedbyaRCCorRSC,usingavailablepersonnel
andfacilitiestolocatepersonsindistress.(IAMSAR,Volume1).
Definition of terms Rescue: Anoperation toretrieve persons in distress, provide for their init
ial medical or
otherneedsanddeliverthemtoaplaceofsafety.
Workshouldcontribute to theestablishmentof thinkingformodel ofSAR inRepublicof Serbiadue to the
growingneedofinterventionsinthepreventionandeliminationofconsequencesofnaturaldisastersandbetter
organizat
ionofsearchandrescueusingthestandardsprescribedinthetheworld.
http://www.transnav.eu
the International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 9
Number 2
June 2015
DOI:10.12716/1001.09.02.16
270
accidents on inland waters (IW in the followup of
this paper). Inland waters of the Republic of Serbia
consistof:theDanube,theSavaandtheTiszaaswell
as the navigable canal of the DanubeTiszaDanube
watersystemandreachthelengthof1.680navigable
kilometresat
moderatewaterlevel
2
.
2 THEDEFINITIONOFSEARCHANDRESCUE
Withthepurposeofunderstandingcorrectlytheterm
ofsearchandrescueweneedtoestablishthetimeand
circumstances of its formation, its history and
normativelegislative interpretation accepted by the
majority of countries across the world through their
signing and accepting
international conventions and
contracts.
2.1 Searchandrescueintheinternationalconventions,
lawsandregulations
The SOLAS convention deals with the safety of the
ship and navigation. It is necessary to determine an
efficient system which will enable timely and
successful response of the appropriate professional
organisations, endangered ships and
aidproviding
ships after a sea accident with the aim of rescuing
human lives and material resources as well as
protectingtheenvironment.
International convention on preventing sea
pollutionbyaship(theInternationalConventionfor
the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships),
MARPOL(MarinePollution)inshort,waspassedin
1973 in London after the Torrey Canyon ship had
beenstrandedintheEnglishChannelin1969andthe
leakageof120,000tonsofcrudeoilintothesea.
For that reason International Naval Organisation
passedaspecialinternationalconventioninHamburg
in 1978 by the name of International Convention
on
Maritime Search and Rescue, SAR (Search and
Rescue)in short.It came into forcein 1985 and it is
obligatory for the state governments, unlike some
otherpreviousconventions.
A resolution which was passed later on has
producedacommonregulationbookcalledIAMSAR
(InternationalAeronauticalandMaritimeSearchand
Rescue Manual) which has three parts. The
conventionswiththepurposeofregulatingtheareaof
protection of human lives at sea and the safety of
navigationarethefollowing:
InternationalConventiononSalvage,
International Convention on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for
Seafarers78/95STCW78/95;
InternationalConventiononSafeContainersCS
72.
Yugoslavia ratified all the above mentioned
conventions immediately upon their passing. The
Republic of Serbia has accepted and still accepts all

2
Thestrategyofdevelopmentofrailway,road,water,airandin
termodaltransportwithintheRepublicofSerbiafrom2015to
2020,pages104‐107.
the above mentioned and other international
conventions.
Despite the fact that international conventions
primarilydealwiththenavigationatsea,experience
hasshownthatafteracertainlapseoftimetheycan
applytoinlandwatersaswell.
TheDanubeisthemostimportantriverbothinthe
Republic of Serbia
3
and Europe. Because of its
economic importance many countries propose the
internationalisation of the Danube navigation
4
. As
opposed to this, states through which territories the
Danube runs hadpersistently resisted those
demands, and therefore the navigation has been
regulated for a long time by bilateral contracts of
Danubian countries. Serbia, being one of the
Danubiancountries,proposesamoreopenandbetter
cooperation of the Danubian
countries and is an
activememberoftheDanubeCommission
5
.
DuringXXXVsessionoftheDanubeCommission
heldon25
April,1977adecisionwasreachedtomake
certain alterations and additions to the Basic
Regulations on the Danube Navigation (passed
duringtheDanube Commission sessionin Budapest
in 1968). The Danubian countries and specialised
riverorganisationswererecommendedtocommence
putting this decision into practice starting from 1
April,1979
andtoreporttotheDanubeCommission
about it. The article 1.16 of the new version of the
Basic Regulations on the Danube Navigation with
specialrecommendationsreferring tothe searchand
aid providing on the Danube is of the utmost
importance for this paper. The new infrastructural
policy of
the European Union is defined by the
Regulation1315/2013oftheEuropeanparliamentand
theCouncilontheGuidelinesfortheDevelopmentof
TransEuropean Traffic Network 1, which was
published in December 2013. This Regulation has
enabled a thorough reform of the infrastructural
policy of the 1980’s. The European Commission
has
publishednewmapsshowingtheninemaincorridors
which will be the foundation for the internal
European single market. They will, in turn, enable
establishing new relations between the east and the
westofEurope.
The new infrastructural policy of the EU, which
viewedasawhole,willtransform
theexistentdivided
network of European road communication lines,
railways, rivers and canals, air, sea and river ports
into a unifiedTransEuropean Transport Network
(TENT) with the aim of prompting the growth and
competitivenessoftheEUeconomy.

3
TheDanubeRiverrunsthrough,orisaborderriverbetween,ten
Europeanstates:Germany,Austria,Slovakia,Hungary,Croatia,
Serbia,Romania,Bulgaria,MoldaviaandUkraine.
4
InternationalisationoftheDanubenavigationwasonlyestab
lishedbytheParisAgreementin1856,whichendedtheCrimean
warandfoundedtheFirstDanubeCommission.Itwasinforce
until1938.
5
TheDanubeCommissionisaninternationalorganisationofthe
Danubiancountries,responsibleforcreatingtechnicalandlegal
frameworkfornavigatingtheDanube.Theaimsofthisorganisa
tionare:freenavigationalongtheDanube,theprotectionofthe
interestoftheDanubiancountriesandimprovingthestateand
culturallinks
betweenthememberstateswiththeothercoun
tries.Everymemberstateisinchargeofmanagingitsownsec
tionoftheriver.(author’sremark)
271
Thenewtrafficnetworkwillbesupportedbythe
comprehensive network which will be a part of the
basic network at a regional and national level.
Thereforetheaccessibilityofallregionsandcomplete
coverage of the EU will be ensured. The aim is to
make this comprehensive network available
to the
greatmajority of citizens and businessesin no more
than30minutesgraduallyby2050.
The RhineDanube Corridor is one of the nine
Europeancorridorsofthetransportnetwork(TENT)
and it runs through the Republic of Serbia. It is
definedasthewatercourseofthe
Rhine,throughthe
Main and the Danube, that includes central regions
nearStrasburgandFrankfurtthroughsouthGermany
toVienna,Bratislava,Budapest,andallthewaytothe
Black Sea with the key branches from Munich to
Prague,KosiceandtheUkrainianborder.
InpoliticstheDanubeisacorridorof
theutmost
importance by itself but it is limited to the
watercourse.NowtheRhineDanubeCorridormakes
the unified system of watercourses, and links the
importantrailwayandroadcommunicationlines,and
southeast Europe with the industrial centres of
Germany and France. This approach will enable a
better
connection and integration of the traffic
infrastructure, including the ports, eliminate all the
technicalandadministrativebarriersandmultimodal
transport and ensure the unimpeded flow of
information.
In this regard, with the traffic network made by
thewatercourseoftheDanubealong588kmwith its
tributaries,alongwiththeroadand
railwaycorridors,
theRepublicofSerbiahasbeengivenmuchrelevance
within the comprehensive European policy in the
period from 2014 to 2020. The new European policy
enables great opportunities for improving the
position and development of water transport in the
Republic of Serbia by 2025. The strategy of the
development of water transport in the Republic of
Serbiafrom2015to2025takesintoconsideration“The
WhiteBookfrom2011theGuidelinesforaUnified
European Transport Area”, the Strategy of the
European Union for the Danube region the high
priority area 1a, “The Improvement of Mobility and
Multimodality: Inland Waterways”, as well as “The
Declaration on the Efficient Upkeep of the
Infrastructure on the Danube and its Navigable
Tributaries”, the socalled Luxemburg Declaration.
The strategy of developing water transport in the
Republic of Serbia from 2015 to 2025 includes the
application of European regulations and documents
with the guidelines for the development of the
infrastructure of the inland waterways in agreement
withtheenvironmentaldemands.Inconnectionwith
this, it is especially important to emphasize the
application of the EU Water Framework Directive,
Strategic Environment Directive SEA, and the
Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. The
importance of the
process of agreement of the three
rivercommissions,theDanubeCommission(DC),the
International Commission for the Sava River Basin
(ISRBS), and the Commission for Protecting the
DanubeRiver(ICPDR)withtheir“JointStatementon
theGuidingPrinciplesfortheDevelopmentofInland
Navigation and Environmental Principle in the
Danube
RiverBasin.
2.2 Searchandrescueinthenationalregulatoryrules
In national regulations the search and rescue on
inlandwatersareahasbeendefinedonlypartiallyby
the Law on the Safety of Navigation and Ports on
Inland Waters
6
. The part of this law which refers to
the search and rescue is based on the International
ConventiononSaving Lives atsea(SOLAS)andthe
InternationalConventiononSearchandRescueatSea
(CAP).
InadditiontotheLawontheSafetyofNavigation
and Ports on Inland Waters,
the search and rescue
area is partially defined in the Law on States of
Emergency
7
.
The articles 73 and 74 of the Law on Navigation
andPortsonInlandWatersdefinethatthesearchand
rescue of endangered people and things on inland
water is conducted by the ministry in charge of the
internal affairs with the cooperation of the harbour
masters offices (Sector for
the Water Transport and
theSafetyofNavigation/MinistryofTransport)upon
theordersgivenbytheMinistryofInternalAffairsin
search and rescue, engaging the available staff and
equipment, as well as employing other state organs
businesses,legalentitiesandentrepreneurswhichdo
businessoninlandwaters.
Ministry of
internal affairs has specially defined
units for search and rescue on water affairs at a
national level through the Sector for the States of
Emergency intended for these activities and for the
searchandrescuerequirements.Inadditiontothese,
certain elements of the units subordinate to the
Ministryofthe
InternalAffairs(e.g.fromthepolice
divers, river police, fire fighting service, helicopter
units,etc).Theyarepartiallyequippedwithfacilities,
moveablebelongings,andboatsforalltasksofsearch
andrescueonwater.
The Law on the States of Emergency of the
Republic of Serbia defines the terms
“Search and
Rescue of People after Accidents” and “Protection
and Rescue from Floods and Water Disasters and
Under Water Disasters”, which include providing
protection and conducting search and rescue of
peopleand material belongings on water and under
water.Furthermore,thetasksofthestateorgansare
also set and article
11 appoints the Ministry of
Internal Affairs with the authority to organize the
surveillance system, reporting, timely warning, and
alarmingontheterritoryoftheRepublicofSerbiaas
well as taking part in search and rescue after the
accidentsinrivertransport.MinistryofDefenceand
theSerbianArmy
aregiventheauthoritybyarticle12
ofthislawtoengagecertainpartsoftheMinistryof
DefenceandtheSerbianArmyinprovidingsupport
andaid insearch andrescue when other forces and
meansofthesystemofdefenceandrescuingdonot
suffice, when acting upon the
Ministries orders
organizational units responsible for the states of
emergency.Withinthe CivilProtection Management
oftheSectorfortheStatesofEmergency(articles98to
102oftheLawontheStatesofEmergency)aunithas
been formed for search on water and under water.
Basedon
theLaw of the States of Emergency of the

6
TheOfficialJournaloftheRepublicofSerbia,no73/2010.
7
TheOfficialJournaloftheRepublicofSerbia,no111/09.
272
RepublicofSerbia,theMinisteroftheInternalAffairs
hasmadeaRegulationBookonorganizingandusing
specialised units of civil protection. This Regulation
Book gives the unit for search on water and under
watertheauthority:
To performtasksandaffairsfortheprotectionof
life and health of people and animals as well as
material and cultural belongings on rivers, lakes
andfloodedareas;
To transport people, animals and material
belongingsacrossriversandlakes;
Torescueandsearchdrownedpeoplefromrivers
lakeswellsandotherwaterareasand
To salvage material belongings endangered by
water.
FortheneedsofhelpingandsupportingtheMIA
oftheRSinsearchandrescueonwater,andbasedon
the third mission of the Serbian Armed Forces
“providing support to the civilian authorities in
fighting safety threats”, the Minister of Defence
reachesthedecisiontoengagethenecessaryunitsof
theSerbianArmyonthistask.Theunitswhichcanbe
engaged in search and rescue on water within the
Serbian Army are mainly those that carry out
everydaytasksonwater(theRiverFlotilla),butalso
some other units of the
Serbian Army (aviation,
specialised units, etc). Through the Operational
Centreofthesystemofdefence,andthelineofduty
certainunitsoftheSerbianarmyarealarmedtocarry
outsearchandrescueonwatertask.
2.3 RiverInformationServicesengagedinsearchand
rescue
Between2009and2013
themostcontemporaryRiver
InformationServices(RIS)wereimplemented on the
Danube and Sava rivers. Costal network of base
stationswasestablished(15ontheDanubeand3on
theSava,bywhichthecompletelengthoftheserivers
was covered by the signal. Electric Navigational
Charts (ENC) were provided for
the whole water
courseoftheDanube,SavaandTiszariversthrough
Serbia. In order to implement these services as
efficientlyaspossiblea“RISEquipmentProgramme”
wasconductedwithinwhichtradingandstateservice
boatswereequippedwithnecessaryitems.
Starting from 1 January, 2014 it is obligatory to
locateandfollowboatsbyusingAISsystems,aswell
as to issue electric announcements to the shipping
companies (NTS). The other services, like Electronic
Reporting from a boat (ERI) and using information
gained by electric navigational charts (ENC) have
becomecompulsorystartingfrom1January2015.The
lackoffinances
canjeopardizeregularupkeepofthis
servicefrom2015andonwards.
Theaimistoimprovethestateofwatercoursesby
2025, and to make water transport safer, more
reliable, and efficient by adhering to contemporary
environmental standards while making plans and
projects. The upkeep and development of
infrastructure
on watercourses of the Republic of
Serbiafortheneedsofsailisbasedonclearlydefined
European standards and accepted international and
bilateral agreements which on our course towards
Europeanintegrationscompletelydetermineourstate
policyandobligations.
River Information System contributes to safe and
moreefficienttransportprocessesand
enablesthefull
usageof watercoursecapacities, faster integration of
watertrafficwithothermeansoftraffic,thereforeitis
necessary to continue taking an active part in pan
European dialogue on implementing and further
development of the RIS, as well as in the work of
internationalcommissionsofRIS
experts.
ItisnecessarytoestablishaWaterCourseTraffic
Service (WTS) in the republic of Serbia which is
currentlyappliedinEurope.Duetothisthe existent
elements and capacities of RIS should be used to
enable the functioning of WTS. WTS can undertake
theroleofRRCC(RiverRescue
CoordinateCentre).If
suchtaskswhicharenotcoveredbyRISariseonthe
territoryofinlandwaters,localWTSstations should
be set up with the emphasis on boat traffic. If the
existence of WTS proves to be unnecessary, the
presentRISshouldbekept.Managingboattrafficand
searchandrescueoperationsonwatercourseswithin
WTSwillbeperformedfromRIScentres.
Itwouldbethemaincentralunitofthesearchand
rescue on water service. The manager of the centre
would be responsible for its work, and the centre
needstohave:
adetailedPlanofsearchandrescueonwater,
properfacilitiesinordertofunction,
means and equipment for search and rescue,
especiallyforcommunicationand
trainedpersonnel.
The work of the centre is based on the plan and
containsregulationsanddataon:
procedures,
theworkofcertaindepartmentswithinthesearch
andrescueonwaterservice,
means of communications and the way they are
used,
staffthattakespartinthesearchandrescuetasks
and
theinformationgathered.
The centre must possess reliable equipment for
receiving aid calls, equipment for maintaining
communicationvialandorradioequipmentwiththe
rescue units, rescue centres within sectors (sub
centres),mainstationsforRIS,centresforsupervising
air transport, meteorological devices, centres for
coordination with the surrounding areas,
ships,
medicalinstitutions,hydrometeorologicalinstitution,
etc. Overall organization of the Centre for
coordination of search and rescue on water would
looklikethis:
273
In the Republic of Serbia RIS should improve its
services according to the needs of water transport
developmentby2025byusinguptodateandreliable
technologies, and it should be in harmony with RIS
systemsataEuropeanwatercoursenetwork,beingits
integralpart.
Along with all activities that
involve establishing
and perfecting RIS and WTS, it is of utmost
importance to carry out permanent training and
developmentoftheusersofRISandWTSservices,as
well as of those responsible for providing these
serviceswiththeaimofusingalltheirpossibilities.
3 THEENGAGEMENTOFSEARCH
ANDRESCUE
UNITS
“SearchandRescueonInlandWaters”missionforthe
engaged units involves planned and organised
activities on locating and rescuing people and
animals,sunkenboats,aircraft,aswellaseliminating
the consequences of the accidents on and near the
riversandcanals.
The most important factors which are
taken into
consideration and analysed when assessing the
possibility of engaging units in carrying out search
andrescueoninlandwaterstasksarethetype,scale
andcharacteristicsoftheaccidents,theconditionsof
planning,organisingandcompletingthesearchand
rescuetasks,andthefeasibilityoffulfillingsearchand
rescuetasks.
3.1 .Types,scalesandcharacteristicsofaccidentson
inlandwaters
Depending on the type of transport used by the
peopleinvolved,accidentsoninlandwaterscanbe:
boataccidents,
aircraftaccidents,
motor,andothervehicleaccidents.
Depending on their consequences, IW accidents
canbe:
accidents with human casualties (injuries, deadly
outcomes),
accidentswithmaterialdamage,
accident involving the leakage of poisonous
environmentallyhazardousmatters,
accidents involving consequences for people,
animals,materialbelongingsandtheenvironment.
Dependingontheircauses,accidentscanbe:
causedbyhumanactions,
causedbysomeforcesofnature,
causedbothbyhumanactionsandsomeforcesof
nature.
Depending on the area of their occurrence,
accidentscanbe:
accidentsonrivers,
accidentsoncanals,
accidentsonnaturalandartificiallakes.
3.2 Conditionsofplanning,organisingandcarryingout
searchandrescuetasks
Successful search and rescue tasks depend on the
conditionsinwhichtheyareplanned,organisedand
carriedout,andtheycanvarydependingonthecase
andsituationonthefield.
The
conditions which affect planning, organising
anddeployingtheunitsarethefollowing:
hydrological,weatherandnavigationalconditions
intheareaoftheaccident,
the distance of the area of the accident from the
basedRiverFlotillaregion,
thestateofcommunicationslinesandtheexistence
ofinhabitedplacesintheareaoftheaccident,
theavailabletimeforpreparingandcarrying out
searchandrescuetasks,
thestateanddensityofwatertransportinthearea
oftheaccident,and
engagingtheothersocialstructuresinsearchand
rescue
8
.
These conditions all affect the preparation for
putting into practice search and rescue tasks
differently,andtheymustbeanalysedthoroughly.
3.2.1 Hydrological,weatherandnavigationalconditions
intheareaoftheaccident
Hydrologicalconditionswhichcanaffectthetask
are:thedepthofwateratthesceneofthe
accident,the
depthandwidthoftheriverbed,themakeupofthe
riverbed,thetransparencyofwater,thespeedofthe
watercourse,theconditionsandthetendenciesofthe
waterlevel,andthetemperatureofwater.
Weatherconditionswhichcanaffect the taskare:
the air temperature,
the state and tendencies of
rainfall, the fog, the cloudiness, and the wind, and

8
River police, gendarmerie, waterpower companies,civildefence
organs, local population, and port authorities are of vital
importance(author’sremark)
ManageroftheCentrefor
Coordinationofthesearchand
rescueonwater
Dutyservice
Theofficerin
chargeondutyofthe
Centrefor
Coordinationofthe
searchandrescueon
water
Officialsonduty
theCentrefor
Coordinationofthe
searchandrescueon
water
274
theydependontheseasonoftheyearandtheclimate
oftheareaoftheaccident.
Thecomplete knowledge of the hydrological and
weather conditions in the area of the accident, and
defining their influence on the search and rescue
activities is a requisite condition for planning ,
organising,
deploying the capacities as well as
engaging the search and rescue on water units
efficiently.
Navigational conditions of sailing in the area of
theaccidentareimportantwhenitcomestothesafety
oftheengagedandotherboats,determiningtheexact
position of boats employed in searching the area
of
the accident, thorough search of the area of the
accident, the search of people in danger, and
salvagingmaterialbelongings.
3.2.2 .Thestateofcommunicationlinesand theexistence
ofinhabitedplacesintheareaoftheaccident
A part of inland waters has bad access to water
communication
lines,whichmakestheconductingof
search and rescue tasks more complicated. In most
caseslocalpopulationisthefirsttospottheaccident
andcome tothe aidof the distressed, and they also
provideimportantinformationonweatherconditions
and the circumstances which led to the accident
which
can sometimes have a decisive effect on the
searchandrescueoutcome.
3.2.3 .Thetimeavailableforpreparingandcarryingout
searchandrescue
In search and rescue missions the available time,
being an irreversible category, is a critical resource.
The initial assessment is always made within the
limitedtime
frameworkanditisnecessarythatitbe
quick and accurate. A team of experts and qualified
personnel, who know the possibilities, conditions of
conducting search and rescue and are skilful in
finding the best possible solutions quickly, is made.
Thisguaranteesthattheavailabletimewillbeusedin
thebestpossibleway.
3.2.4 .Thestateanddensityofwatertransportinthe
areaoftheaccident
On inland waters intensive river transport is
conducted and it causes temporary halts and
limitations.Inadditiontothelimitationswhichmay
refer to the critical distance of the travelling boats
from
he defined (marked) border of the search and
rescue region, limitations can refer to the speed,
stopping, anchoring, etc. Stopping or limiting water
transport, especially on international navigable
watercourses, can only last for a limited amount of
time.
Theperiodoflimitingwatertrafficintheareaof
the accident
must be determined in advance, which
demands accurate assessment of the available time.
Prohibiting or limiting traffic in the area of the
accident is put into force through the Ministry in
charge of water traffic and port authorities under
whichjurisdictiontheareaoftheaccidentis.
3.2.5 .Engagingthe
societyinsearchandrescueonIW
Engaging other social structures in search and
rescueimposestheneedofclearlydifferentiatingthe
areas of jurisdiction, tasks and responsibilities of
certainparticipants.
Their engagement depends primarily on the
available resources and the possibilities of civilian
structures, especially of the state administration
and
local management in the area of the accident. In
additiontothis,itshouldclearlybedefinedinwhich
situationstheSAandMIAunitscanbeengaged.
3.3 Tasksandcapabilitiesoftheunitsengagedinsearch
andrescuetask
By analysing the types, scales, and characteristics of
possible
accidents, the organisational structure, the
equipment and level of competence of both the
commandandtheunits,andtheacquiredexperience,
the units engaged in search and rescue perform the
followingtasks:
searching for, locating and salvaging boats and
otherobjects,
rescuing the crew of the sunken and damaged
boatsandotherobjects,
searchingfor,locatingandrescuingthedistressed
onesintheaccidents,
hauling the stranded and less damaged boats,
providingaid,mendingminordamagesonaboat,
making the boats fit for sail to the maintenance
companiesandaidprovidingstations,
keepingthesinkingboatfitforsail,especiallyifits
crew cannot do that relying on their own
resources,
providingassistancetotheboatscaughtonfire,
eliminating environmentally hazardous
consequencesofanaccident,and
divingandotherunderwatertaskswiththeaimof
ensuring the boat’s ability to sail and navigate
safely.
The above mentioned tasks primarily refer to
searchandrescuetasksfortheneedsoftheArmyand
MD. However, bearing in mind some specific
features, all the tasks are carried out
in order to
providehelptothecivilianstructures.Inthatcase,a
differentapproachisrequired,aspecialorganisation
of work and a specific way of employing boats and
pontoonfacilities.
4 SEARCHANDRESCUECOORDINATION
Involving different parties in search and rescue
necessarily entails the need of timely planning
and
organisedcoordinationbetweenthemwiththeaimof
quicker, more efficient and more economical search
and rescue of people, animals and material
belongingsincaseanaccidentoccursandinorderto
avoid their consequences. Within search and rescue,
coordinationisdonebetweenMinistryoftheInternal
Affairs,Ministry
ofAgriculture,MinistryofDefence,
Forestry and Waterpower Engineering, Ministry of
Infrastructure, Traffic and Civil Engineering,
“PLOVPUT” Inland Navigable Waterways
Management, and the Republic of Serbia Weather
275
Bureau. All these institutions have clearly defined
jurisdictions and responsibilities in certain segments
ofatask.Theydeterminetheirplaceandroleinthe
searchandrescuesystem.
The search and rescue system in the Republic of
Serbiaisnotclearlydefined,whichmakesithard to
foresee all the
possible scenarios and participants in
thesystemandtostatepreciselywhichtasksshould
each of them carry out. The Law on the States of
Emergencies of the Republic of Serbia defines the
organisation and management of the search and
rescueunits.Toacertainextentitisalsobrought
into
accord with related laws of the European Union
9
, it
sets the main direction and way of coordinating
different parties within the organisation and
functioningofthesearchandrescuesystem.Thelaw
regulates: the jurisdictions of state organs,
autonomousprovinces,theunitsoflocal authorities,
and the participation of the police and the Army in
search and rescue
tasks. The term ‘protection and
saving’isbroaderthantheterm‘searchandrescue’,
whichisjustonepartofthesearchandrescuesystem
ontheterritoryoftheRepublicofSerbia
10
.
Organisational parts of Ministry of Defence and
the Serbian Army are engaged in providing aid in
protection and saving only upon the demand of the
SectorfortheStatesofEmergencywithintheMinistry
of Internal Affairs which is the key factor in
coordinating all the activities within the search
and
rescuemission.Incaseofthestateofemergency,the
appropriate headquarters in charge of the states
emergenciesareformedatthelevelsoftherepublic,
province,region,townandmunicipality.Therequest
forpossibleengagementoftheArmy’sunitsismade
to the Ministry of Defence, but also
to garrison
commandinspecialcases.
According to the Law on the Ministries of the
Republic of Serbia (OJ no 16/2011), the Ministry of
Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, performs,
amongothertasks,thetasksrelatedprotectinglives,
personalsafetyandthesafetyofcitizens’belongings
and providing aid
in case of danger. Within the
organisational system of the Ministry of Internal
AffairsthereisaSectorfortheStatesofEmergencies
(picture 1), with the main goal of integrating the
resourcesavailabletotheMIA,theArmy,businesses
and other rescue services into a unique system for
providing
aidtopeopleinthestatesof emergencies.
Nationaland operational centres are currently being
formedwithauniquediallingcode112incaseofan
accident.Accordingto theprescribed procedure, the
centres will gather and analyse information, follow
the situation and inform the authorities and the
institutions on any
events in the state of emergency
domain.

9
EuropeanUnionStrategyonInternalSecurityandEuropeanUn
ionStrategyonSupportingtheReductionoftheRiskfromNatu
ralDisastersinDevelopingCountries,(author’sremark).
10
SearchandRescueSystemisapartofNationalSecuritySystem
andisanintegralpartofmanagingandorganizingdifferentpar
tieswithinthesearchandrescuesystemengagedinconducting
SafetyandOperationalMeasuresandcarryingoutthetasksof
searchandrescueofpeopleandbelongingsfrom
naturaldisaster
consequencesandothermisfortunes,includingrecovery
measuresafterthosedisasters,(author’sremark).
Withtheaimof finding,following and gathering
informationonallkindsofdangertopeople,animals,
theenvironment,materialandculturalbelongingsat
theleveloftheRepublicaccordingtoarticle103ofthe
Law, there is an intention to set up an observation
system,theysystemoftimelywarning,
informingand
alertingwhichwillbemadeupofthefollowingunits:
112Service,statemanagementorgans,thepolice,the
Army,economicsocieties,servicesofpublicinterest,
and other legal entities that within their regular
activities perform observation, registering, analysing
and predicting certain events and states in weather
forecasting, seismology,
fire protection, waterpower
engineering, chemical and radiological protection,
healthcare,agriculture,powerplantindustry,traffic,
andotherareas.
MinistryofAgriculture,ForestryandWaterpower
Engineeringhas the Republic Management of Water
Resourcesasitsintegralpart,whichisinchargeofthe
water resources protection. It also contains ‘Serbia
Waters’ PWC
which is in charge of performing
waterpower engineering activities at the territory of
Serbiaoutside AP of Vojvodina; “Vojvodina Waters’
PWC is in charge of performing waterpower
engineeringactivitiesatthe territory of the province
ofVojvodinaand‘BelgradeWaters’PWCinchargeof
waterresourcesandcoordinatestheneeds
ofusersfor
waterattheterritoryofBelgrade.
TheManagementperformspermanentobservation
of the waters assigned to them, and manages the
same, which makes it the most reliable source of
information on the past, current, and future state of
watercourses. Numerous waterpower engineering
objectsaredeployedoninlandwaters
enablethemto
be used by staff employed in public waterpower
companies, which in its turn enables gathering
information on hydrological and all other water
features. These data are requisite while planning,
organising, and conducting search and rescue tasks.
The River Flotilla coordinates its actions with the
Management,whichcan
haveadecisiveinfluenceon
the speed and efficiency of performing search and
rescue on IW through its activities in certain
situations.
Ministry of Infrastructure, Traffic and Civil
Engineering has the Sector for Water Transport and
SafeNavigationasitsintegralpart,whichisincharge
of the safe sail on
navigable watercourses. Port
authoritiesarealsoitsintegralpart,andtheyperform
some managerial, inspection and other activities
withintheinlandnavigationarea.
Coordination with port authorities is important
because, in search and rescue situations, it provides
the necessary working conditions in the following
areas: enforcing a ban or limiting
navigation in the
area of the accident, informing the participants of
water transport on the accident, the ban or the
limitation, supervising the enforcement of the ban,
etc.