Artsen zonder Grenzen
10 januari 2023
Mediterranean, Italië
Soort Dienstverband
Tijd per week
36-40 uur


Scope and objectives of the position

The SAR team leader is responsible for the implementation of all Search and Rescue activities and providing direction to the SAR team. He/she is in charge of the strategical overview of the operation, delegating the tactical decisions on scene to the Deputy SAR Team Leader who can be instructed if needed.  The SAR team leader is the communication focal point for liaising with rescue authorities and other SAR assets on shore, under supervision of the Project Coordinator. In cooperation with the DSTL, is responsible for training and developing the SAR team. The SAR Team Leader will rotate on and off the ship and will work on shore for part of the time when off the ship.


Main responsibilities

  • Prepare daily navigational plans towards the SAR zone and once inside the SAR zone, based on open alerts, presence of other assets, weather conditions and any other factors that may apply.
  • Communicate with relevant maritime authorities about SAR related activities, under supervision of Project Coordinator. Monitor incoming SAR related communications on the bridge, responding as appropriate in collaboration with Project Coordinator.
  • Ensure timely reporting: logging of relevant communications and operations on the bridge on a daily basis, fuel consumption, SAR sitreps (situational reports) for maritime authorities.
  • Oversee rescue operations from the bridge, supervising the coordination of the Deputy SAR Team Leader, ensuring safety of the operations at all times.
  • Work to improve the SAR components of the project and ensure compliance with MSF protocols and standards. Update SOPs and other documentation to reflect any changes and improvements made.
  • Continue to improve quality of SAR training activities; deliver training modules in collaboration with Deputy SAR Team Leader.
  • Support the Deputy SAR Team Leader in the development of SAR Technicians, including provision of constructive feedback and evaluations. Support development of Deputy SAR Team Leader(s) with supervision and coaching as well as constructive feedback and evaluations.
  • Support Deputy SAR Team Leader to coordinate, supervise, and coach SAR Technicians.
  • Manage the ordering of rescue equipment.
  • Collaborate with the HR Department in the recruitment and planning of the SAR team as needed.


Specific Accountabilities

  • The Search and Rescue Team Leader (STL) will report directly to the Project Coordinator. The STL must have extensive knowledge of SAR techniques, the maritime legal framework, the context of the central Mediterranean as well as very strong seamanship skills and knowledge of standard communication procedures.
  • This position is on board a ship. Staff must be “sea worthy”, and be willing to go beyond their regular role during rescues. Be aware that seasickness can be significant particularly for roles that require regular computer work. Working and living on a ship requires a certain level of fitness.
  • On top of the regular tasks related to their roles, all staff are expected to contribute to the operations and chores on the ship, both at sea and while in port. This includes general care of rescued people (food distributions, etc), doing watches (deck watch, bridge watch), cleaning of the ship (scrubbing deck, toilets, etc.), and any other tasks.
  • Candidates must be able to handle very high intensity workload during rescue and transit.
  • The role of STL comes with very long and irregular working hours and frequent night time duties during searching phase (on call 24/7). You may be asked to take on tasks outside your specific job description.
  • While the need for a humanitarian presence in the central Mediterranean Sea is obvious, the humanitarian space is reduced in a much-politicized context. The candidate must be prepared to expect difficulties such as poor access to people in need or long delays before disembarkation after rescue.
  • SAR is a high-profile project: journalists will be present on the ship; staff may be asked to give interviews or be photographed during their work.
  • Due to the context and uncertainties, flexibility is a must. All positions on the boat need to be open minded and proactive and strive to contribute to the development of an efficient operation.


Candidate Profile

  • Education : STCW training required, Basic Safety training and Security awareness; certificate of Competency Deck officer or strong maritime experience in an operational role at sea.
  • Experience : 2 years running a maritime SAR team or 2 years in the Central Mediterranean; working experience in emergency contexts.
  • Languages : Fluent English speaker (C1 level); knowledge of French, Italian and Arabic is a plus.
  • Knowledge : Search and rescue procedures; strong knowledge of associated maritime conventions (UNCLOS, SAR Convention, SOLAS) as well as good understanding of SAR context in the Central Mediterranean IAMSAR related knowledge; working offshore, mechanics and rhib repair.
  • Competencies : Team management; strong communication skills including report writing; experience in negotiation; ability to work in stressful situations and make critical decisions.


 Conditions & Application  

Contract:   Fixed term contract (6 months), full-time.

Duty Station:  50% on the ship; 50% on shore (work on shore is divided as follow: 25% remote work & 25% leaves).

Start Date : as soon as possible

Application procedure: To apply for this role, please submit your application containing your detailed motivation letter and CV (both in English) via email to

The application deadline is 22 January 2023 at 23:59 CET.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Applicants not invited for interview within 4 weeks from the closure of the vacancy may consider their applications unsuccessful.

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