Providing Maritime-Aerial Search and Rescue Services


Controlling and Monitoring Waters under Iranian Jurisdiction by Aerial Units 

In order to implement the provisions of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), and monitor and respond to marine pollution in line with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) and its Protocol on Harmful and Noxious Substances (OPRC-HNS), the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) has taken measures to conclude or extend contracts to employ aerial units.

For this purpose, 5 special maritime helicopters, 2 hovercrafts and one aerial patrol airplane were acquired from the Transport Services of the I.R.I. Naval Forces, and 3 helicopters from the private sector (namely, PASCO Aviation Services Company). The aerial operations of the above units generally cover areas with the highest navigation traffic in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz and Caspian Sea.
Contracted Helicopters, Hovercrafts and Airplanes
1- Transport Services of the I.R.I. Naval Forces:
  • two Sikorsky SH-3D helicopters, stationed in Bandar Abbas and Chabahar;
  • three BELL 212 SH-3D helicopters, stationed in Bushehr, Jask and Rasht (Bandar Anzali);
  • one Friendship 27 airplane, stationed in Bandar Abbas for aerial patrols and monitoring of vessels in shipping lines and response to oil spills at sea, as well as search and rescue services for locating vessels in distress and identifying those causing pollution;
  • one BH-7 hovercraft, stationed in Bandar Abbas; and
  • one SRN-6 hovercraft, stationed in Bandar Abbas.
2- PASCO Aviation Services Company:
  • one BELL 412 EP helicopter, stationed in Kish Island; 
  • one BELL 212 helicopter, stationed in Kish Island; and
  • one BO 105 helicopter, stationed in Kish Island.
BELL AB-212  
 BELL AB- 212
Friendship 27 airplane


SAR Vessel & Sikorsky SH-3D helicopter

Procedure for Coordinating and Requesting a Helicopter
A) Emergency Flights:
Emergency flights have only been defined for search and rescue missions and special cases of marine pollution response. For such missions, competent officials of maritime rescue coordination centers (MRCCs), and Deputy Directors of Port or Maritime Affairs of the ports that station helicopters may directly request the desired flight from the air-sea bases through previously agreed procedures and formats, conduct the emergency missions and inform the issue via telephone and subsequently facsimile to Head of Search and Rescue Department in PMO Headquarters (Tehran).
 Contact Information
During weekdays and official hours:
+98 21 8493 2149
+98 21 8493 2717

Fax: +98 21 84932190


B) Ordinary Flights:
All non-emergency patrol flights for identifying, monitoring and responding to marine pollution cases, and other missions conducted with helicopters are considered ordinary flights, and prior coordination is necessary with the Directorate General of Search and Rescue and Marine Environment Protection in PMO Headquarters for requesting and conducting them. Written requests for this purpose, signed by Deputy Directors of Port or Maritime Affairs or the Director General of the requesting port, need to be submitted through facsimile numbers +98 21 8493 2190 or +98 21 8865 1117.
Flight requests will be considered by the mentioned directorate general, and permissions will be issued for the requesting port. MRCCs need to proceed through previously agreed procedures and formats in order to request and conduct the desired flight from the air-sea bases. 
 Contact Information
During weekdays and official hours:
+98 21 8493 2175
+98 21 8493 2717

C) Official Coordinators
  It is the responsibility of coordinating matters related to Search and Rescue and Marine Environment Protection Affaires with the General Director of Maritime Safety and Marine Protection in PMO Headquarters (Tehran).




Operational Helicopter Flights for Aerial Monitoring of Oil Spills
The first operational flight was conducted by a Bell AB-212 helicopter in December 2010 in order to aerially monitor oil spills near Khark Island and Aboozar Oil Field (Northern Persian Gulf). Since then, aerial safety-environmental patrols have been regularly conducted in Iranian waters using Bell helicopters. 
The first operational flight above was conducted with the following details:
  • The flight lasted for 2.5 hours;
  • An area of around 6,000 square kilometers was covered;
  • A party of seven officials from the PMO Deputy Managing Director's Office for Maritime Affairs was transferred from Bushehr to Khark Island;
  • During aerial patrol from Khark Island to Aboozar Oil Field, two delegates from Bushehr and Khark Island Ports were on board, and guided the aerial operation; 
  • Aerial patrol over Khark and Aboozar Oil Fields identified crude oil spills from installations belonging to Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), which were recorded (video and photo).


pollution khark1

aerially monitor oil spills near Khark Island and Aboozar Oil Field

pollution khark2   

aerially monitor oil spills near Khark Island and Aboozar Oil Field

International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR)

 he SAR Convention, adopted on 27 April 1979 at a Conference in Hamburg and entered into force on 22 June 1985, was aimed at developing an international SAR plan, so that, no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at sea will be co-ordinated by a SAR organization and, when necessary, by cooperation between neighboring SAR organizations.
Although the obligation of ships to go to the assistance of vessels in distress was enshrined both in tradition and in international treaties (such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS,1974), there was, until the adoption of the SAR Convention, no international system covering search and rescue operations. In some areas there was a well-established organization able to provide assistance promptly and efficiently, in others there was nothing at all.
Technical provisions
The technical provisions of the SAR Convention are contained in an Annex, which was divided into five Chapters. Parties to the Convention are required to ensure that arrangements are made for the provision of adequate SAR services in their coastal waters. Parties are encouraged to enter into SAR agreements with neighboring States involving the establishment of SAR regions, the pooling of facilities, establishment of common procedures, training and liaison visits. The Convention states that Parties should take measures to expedite entry into its territorial waters of rescue units from other Parties.
The Convention then goes on to establish preparatory measures which should be taken, including the establishment of rescue co-ordination centers and 
sub-centers. It outlines operating procedures to be followed in the event of emergencies or alerts and during SAR operations. This includes the designation of an on-scene commander and his duties. Parties to the Convention are required to establish ship reporting systems, under which ships report their position to a coast radio station. This enables the interval between the loss of contact with a vessel and the initiation of search operations to be reduced. It also helps to permit the rapid determination of vessels which may be called upon to provide assistance including medical help when required. The current SAR Convention includes ٨ Articles, followed by an Annex divided into ٥ Chapters, the most important of which include:
Chapter III – Cooperation between States
Requires Parties to co-ordinate search and rescue organizations, and, where necessary, search and rescue operations with those of neighboring States. The Chapter states that unless otherwise agreed between the States concerned, a Party should authorize, subject to applicable national laws, rules and regulations, immediate entry into or over its territorial sea or territory for rescue units of other Parties solely for the purpose of search and rescue.
Chapter IV – Operating procedures
The Chapter says that each RCC (Rescue Co-ordination Centre) and RSC (Rescue Sub-Centre) should have up-to-date information on search and rescue facilities and communications in the area and should have detailed plans for conduct of search and rescue operations. Parties - individually or in co-operation with others should be capable of receiving distress alerts on a 24-hour basis.


earch & Rescue Vessels


SAR Vessel (Erlen Bufer Vessel- Germany)


naji-boat service 

  SAR Vessel (Boat Service- Norway)


MRCCs Region in North & South 

persian-SAR region

 Persian SAR Region

caspian-SAR region

 Caspian- SAR Region



SAR Logo

SAR logo




MRCCs Centers

Latest UpdateNovember 14, 2022
Imam KhomeiniKhuzestan00986152282452-500986152282429009861522824390098615228245600986152226902
Bandar AbbasHormozgan00987633514032-500987633514036
ChabaharSistan and Baluchestan009854353214150098543532121600985435321215
Amir AbadMazandaran00981134623511009811346235010098113451223300981134623501