Meeting between BULSAR and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) volunteer organization
On 23 February 2018, the Bulgarian Chamber of Shipping hosted the meeting between BULSAR and Mr. Matt Crofts, Lifesaving Manager, who is the representative of one of the world's largest volunteer organizations for Search and Rescue - Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). On behalf of BULSAR participated Capt. Nikifor Gerchev - President of BULSAR, Capt. Toma Tomov, Capt. Bozhidar Dobrev, Mr. Georgi Georgiev and Mr. Dimitar Stoyanov.
Capt. B.Bogdanov, chair of Bulgarian Chamber of Shipping, opened the meeting, pointing out that volunteering in Search and Rescue of people at sea is a high-human task, which worths respect. Bulgarian Chamber of Shipping is glad to host this meeting and is ready to support the cause with all possible means at its disposal.
Matt Crofts, informed the history of the organization and its goals. The RNLI Volunteer Organization was founded in 1824 and has so far saved more than 140,000 lives. Funding is entirely on a voluntary basis, giving them total independence.
Matt Crofts explained the purpose of his visit as a willingness of RNLI to be a partner with BULSAR and to exchange information, best practices and, most importantly, attempt to establish the same standards for training and prevention in Search and Rescue at sea . BULSAR explained that at the moment, as each volunteer organization, has some difficulties with its material base and its infrastructure, but this does not at least make it untenable in pursuing its high-humane goals. Both sides discussed possibilities for cooperation, with the first steps being based on an exchange of information that would be useful for both sides.