Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Bureau Veritas and Ponant undertake polar search and rescue field exercise

Ponant's Le Commandant Charcot and Bureau Veritas undertaking international search and rescue exercise in the Arctic
Bureau Veritas recently participated in what it described as the world’s first international search and rescue exercise (SAREX) in a remote polar zone.

BV tested and certified maritime safety equipment onboard Ponant’s polar exploration vessel Le Commandant Charcot during an Arctic voyage.

Rescue in polar waters

The search and rescue exercise was performed to identify and address the challenges, constraints and opportunities involved in Arctic Massive Rescue Operations (AMRO) in remote polar areas, in order to support safe navigation in polar waters.

International participation

The exercise brought together teams from Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, the US and Norway. This international initiative involved academic experts, the ship’s officers and crew, as well as remotely connected teams and head office managements.

The field exercise itself gathered a group of 67 people, who were tasked with setting up a polar survival camp to last over a 24-hour period on the ice, among other tasks.

For BV, the exercise presented the opportunity to test all rescue and safety equipment, particularly the ‘Ice Cube’, camp kit, group survival kit, floating polar shelters, and survival suits.

Safety criteria

The conclusions were very positive with all equipment tested exceeding safety criteria and standards and those required by the tourism industry (IAATO and AECO).

Laurent Leblanc, SVP technical & operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commented: ‘Being part of this important search and rescue exercise has enabled us to further understand what is at stake in polar conditions. This should give cruise passengers and governments increased confidence in the safety of polar voyages.’

Shared learnings

The outcomes of the SAREX will be shared with polar environment experts and the expedition cruise sector to support better understanding of the impact of extended periods of time spent on polar ice.

Mathieu Petiteau, newbuilding director at Ponant, said: ‘Safety is paramount when navigating in the challenging waters surrounding the poles, and we are dedicated to protect the health and safety of our passengers and crew, as well as safeguarding the pristine polar environments.’






Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.