Jointly published by IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), each IAMSAR volume can be used as a standalone document or, in conjunction with the other two volumes, as a means to attain a full view of the SAR system.
The IAMSAR manual is divided into three volumes:
- Volume I, Organization and Management, discusses the global SAR system concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems and co-operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical SAR services.
- Volume II, Mission Co-ordination, assists personnel who plan and co- ordinate SAR operations and exercises.
- Volume III, Mobile Facilities, is intended to be carried aboard rescue units, aircraft and vessels to help with performance of a search, rescue or on-scene co-ordinator function, and with aspects of SAR that pertain to their own emergencies.
IAMSAR is available in e-reader format and the Volumes can be purchased separately or as a package.
Amendments to the IAMSAR Manual are prepared by the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue and being endorsed by the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), and finally adopted at three-year intervals, in principle, by the Maritime Safety Committee, along with the adoption process in place at the ICAO.