As per the agreements with International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Search and Rescue Region (SRR) allocated to Sri Lanka consists of a vast sea area and is almost twenty seven times (27) the land mass and borders the Australian, Indian, Indonesian and Maldivian SAR regions. Since Sri Lanka is located in a strategically important location in the Indian Ocean. The main Sea Line of Communications (SLOC) of the region passes through the SAR region of Sri Lanka.
Large numbers of ships use the main SLOC in the Indian Ocean which lays closer to the Southern tip of the country and an average of 250 ships sail through the traffic separation scheme. Further; hundreds of multiday fishing vessels from the country venture out to sea for fishing in high seas and in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The Sri Lanka Coast Guard being one of the prime agencies responsible for maritime SAR; It has been entrusted to conduct search and rescue operations for human being in times of distress and natural catastrophes and to assist and conduct salvage operations in relation to vessels and cargo after such catastrophes and other accidents at sea. Presently the Sri Lanka Coast Guard conducts search and rescue related activities with optimum utilization of available resources and is in the process of enhancing the capacity in SAR with friendly Coast Guards which possesses expert knowledge and assets.