Federal Law on Maritime Search and Rescue
Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members
Federal Law Implementing the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue
It is hereby provided as follows:
1. This Law may be cited as the Federal Law implementing the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979 as amended in 1998
2.-(1) In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires-
”Annex” means the Annex to the Convention;
means the International Convention for the Maritime Search and Rescue, which was
signed in Hamburg, on the 27th of April 1979, as amended in 1998;
“Cyprus” means the United Cyprus Republic;
“Department” means the Department having responsibility for maritime affairs;
“Gazette” means the federal Official Gazette;
“Member” means the member of the Presidential Council heading the Department;
“prescribed” means prescribed by a public instrument;
“public instrument” includes Regulations and Orders published in the Gazette and instructions, directions, notices, notifications, circulars made or issued under this Law;
“Rescue Co-ordination Centre” means the Centre established pursuant to section 5 of this Law;
“Search and Rescue Centre” means the centre established in each constituent state which shall be subordinate to the Rescue Co-ordination Centre;
“search and rescue unit” means a unit prescribed pursuant to subsection (1) of section 6 of this Law.
(2) Words and phrases, unless otherwise defined herein, shall have the meaning assigned to them by the Convention and the Annex.
3. The Competent Authority for the application of the provisions of the Convention and this Law shall be the Member and the Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
4(1). Cyprus has responsibility for maritime search and rescue in the territorial sea as defined in the Federal Law on the Maritime Areas of Cyprus.
(2) In addition, the region to which Cyprus shall have responsibility for maritime search and rescue in the high seas shall be established by agreement between the Federal Government and the neighbouring countries to Cyprus in accordance with articles 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 of the Convention.
Rescue Co-ordination Centre
5.-(1) The Member shall be responsible for the establishment and operation in Cyprus of a Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
(2) The Rescue Co-ordination Centre shall be equipped and operated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention.
(3) The Rescue Co-ordination Centre shall take the necessary steps to ensure that communication between the Rescue Co-ordination Centre and the Search and Rescue Centres established by the constituent states is available on a 24 hour basis.
(4) The Member may issue any directions for the purposes of the better operation of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, provided that the directions are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Convention.
Search and rescue units
6.-(1) The Presidential Council may by Order published in the Gazette, prescribe as search and rescue units for the purposes of the Convention-
a) any means of sea or aerial circulation, of public or private use;
b) any public or private organisations or parts of them;
c) any public or private services or part of them; and
d) any public or private enterprises or part of them.
(2) The search and rescue units prescribed under subsection (1) shall participate in search and rescue operations within the region of responsibility of Cyprus whenever called upon to do so by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
(3) The Rescue Co-ordination Centre shall ensure that the above mentioned search and rescue units are duly informed beforehand concerning the task they will undertake to perform when called upon to participate in search and rescue operations; for such purpose it shall supply them with the necessary plans, information and directions
(4) The search and rescue units shall take care that the personnel and the material means which they possess for purposes of search and rescue, are always on alert and have excellent service ability and are in a position, whenever called upon so to do, to offer services in any search and rescue operation.
(5) The Rescue Co-ordination Centre and the Search and Rescue Centres and the search and rescue units shall take the necessary steps to ensure that communication between them should be possible and immediate in any day and at any hour.
(6) During any search and rescue operation, the search and rescue units shall act in accordance with the directions of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre and shall co-ordinate their activities with the relevant Search and Rescue Centre.
7. The Presidential Council may authorise the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in co-ordination with the Search and Rescue Centres to direct the search and rescue units to participate in search and rescue operations in sea regions, which are situated outside of the region of responsibility of Cyprus
8.-(1) The Presidential Council may authorise the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, in co-ordination with the relevant Search and Rescue Centre or Centres, to
a) co-operate with search and rescue co-ordination centres of foreign countries concerning search and rescue matters, and
b) to provide any facilities relevant to its activities, to search and rescue co-ordination centres of foreign countries or to receive from such centres such facilities.
(2) A decision of the Presidential Council, issued under subsection (1) may contain terms, restrictions or conditions relating to the manner and extent of its implementation.
9.-(1) The Order set out in the Annex shall be deemed to be an Order made under section 6.
(2) The Presidential Council may, at any time, amend, repeal or substitute, in whole or in part, the Order set out in the Annex hereto.
Order under sections 6 and 9
It is hereby provided as follows:
1. This Order shall be cited as the Search and Rescue Units (Federal) Order.
2.-(1) Words and phrases, unless otherwise defined herein, shall have the meaning assigned to them by the Law and the Convention.
3. In order to fulfill the international search and rescue obligations, within the region of responsibility of Cyprus, the Presidential Council shall acquire or lease equipment such as police helicopters or other aircraft or patrol boats, and designate such equipment as Search and Rescue Units.
4. In order to determine the readiness, arrangement, communications, equipment and operational control of the search and rescue units, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre shall issue a National Search and Rescue Plan, in cooperation with each Search and Rescue Centre which conforms to the instructions of the Member and which is notified to the search and rescue units
5. In addition to the means mentioned in paragraph 3, following a request for contribution made by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, it is possible, depending on the nature of the operation, to make use of the following means, staff and services to participate in the search and rescue operation under the co-ordination of Rescue Co-ordination Centre;
a) Fire-fighting vehicles of the Fire Services and of the Forest Departments stationed in each constituent state;
b) Special Units of the Fire Services in charge of Major Disasters in either constituent state;
c) Ambulances of the Departments of First Aid of either constituent state as well as of private hospitals or clinics;
d) Federal Police Units without prejudice to the competences of the constituent state police;
e) The Department of Social Welfare Services of the competent Ministries of either constituent state;
f) Vessels of the Ports Authorities and the Ministries competent for fisheries of either constituent state;
g) Salvage-tug boats of private companies;
h) Merchant ships that are mooring or are sailing close to the area of the accident; and
i) the District, Municipal and Communal Authorities, the Civil Defense Authorities of either constituent state and the Cyprus Red Cross