Volunteer Rescue Mission

Want to volunteer?

Update

The Boat Refugee Foundation decided not to start a rescue mission in 2017. After the summer we will make a decision about rescue missions in 2018. Please check in September the website for futher information.

Boat Refugee Foundation offers a safe haven, humane shelter and sufficient care for refugees who reach Europe.
We facilitate the necessary care and fullfil basic needs. We offer hope for the future!

We are looking for volunteers for the Search and Rescue team on our ship in the Mediterranean. Please read the information below and assess if you really think this work would suit you. Are you convinced you fit the profile and are able to handle this work? Then please register! The work on the Mediterranean is being done in chunks of 16 days each.

Work conditions

The points mentioned below give you a good impression of the working conditions. Do you really think you are up for this?
Then they could really use your help! Please take a look at these videos by MSF and MOAS and read this article to get an idea of what the work entails.

  • Hierarchical structure on board
  • Strict rhythm of domestic and professional tasks
  • Irregularity of activities
  • Alternating between extreme effort and very little challenge
  • Emotionally confronting situations (drownings and mortal remains)
  • The characters of your colleagues on board
  • Small and shared living- eating- and sleeping quarters
  • Small and shared living- eating- and sleeping quarters
  • Lack of privacy
  • Swell of the ship (linked to sea sickness)
  • Heat on deck and possibly in quarters as well
  • Continuous sound and vibration of the ships engine
  • Quality meals
  • Tensions between groups of refugees
  • Negative behaviour of individual boat refugees

Work description

Responsibilities skipper

As a skipper you are accountable for the SAR team on board of the RIB. Hierarchically, you fall under the board co-ordinator of the mothership. You control the RIB during the rescue attempts of boat refugees and give orders to the crew. Decisions about launching the RIB from the mothership are taken in co-operation with the board co-ordinator of the mothership. You are responsible for the technical condition of the RIB, including the crane, and ensure that it is ready to go at all times. You practice with the crew, prepare the rescue attempts, take care of a debriefing of the team and report to the board co-ordinator.

Tasks of RIB skipper

  • Accountable on board of the RIB
  • Management of all those on board of the RIB
  • Responsible for actions of the RIB
  • Reporting to the accountable board co-ordinator on the mothership
  • Communications with the mothership
  • Debriefing the team

Responsibilities Crew Member

As a SAR-Crew Member (two people on the RIB) you are managed by the SAR skipper and will be the one who does the rescue work from the RIB. This may mean guiding boats to the mothership, or rescuing people from the sea by diving in after them. You are physically fit and strong, and capable of getting an adult drowning person from the sea into the RIB. You are able to get refugees on board of the mothership under rough circumstances (wave action and powerless drowning person).

Tasks Crew Member

  • Lending a helping hand on and around the RIB
  • Saving drowning people
  • Extra eyes and ears of the skipper (also at night)
  • Extra eyes and ears of the skipper (also at night)

Responsibilities Deck personnel

As staff on deck (three people on board of the mothership) you work under the authority of the board co-ordinator and lend a general hand on board of the mothership. As soon as refugees are on board and have been seen medically (triage), the deck staff is responsible for the wellbeing of the refugees on deck that were considered healthy. Your responsibilities are handing out food, drink and blankets, cleaning the sanitary installations on deck in the crew area of the ship. You also participate in kitchen shifts. In the harbour you help with the supplying and the mooring and berthing of the ship.

Tasks deck personnel

  • Common activities and jobs on and around the ship
  • Retrieving and launching of the RIB
  • Mooring and berthing of the mothership
  • Cleaning activities on board
  • Supplying the ship
  • Supporting refugees
  • Household activities

Profile

General competences

You are independent, show initiative, feel secure in yourself and know how to be very flexible, if the situation requires you to.
You are mentally and physically healthy and are in no way hampered to do work which is hard, both emotionally and physically.
You are able to work in a hierarchical setting and have no issues in handling authority.
You are good at working as a team and are very motivated to do this work.

Profile skippers

  • At least 21 years old
  • Boat licence I & II
  • Extensive experience with sailing an RIB
  • Radio certificate (VHF marine radio)
  • Basic technical skills
  • English speaking
  • Valid passport (ID card is not sufficient for international waters)
  • You have a Facebook account or are willing to create one
  • You are available for a period of 16 days (continuous)

Profile Crew Member

  • At least 21 years old
  • Male
  • Willing to work odd jobs/lend a hand
  • Physically strong and fit
  • English speaking
  • Valid passport (ID card is not sufficient for international waters)
  • You have a Facebook account or are willing to create one
  • You are available for a period of 16 days (continuous)

These are advantages:

Experience at sea
Experience in rescuing people
Lifeguard experience & certificates

Profile Deck personnel

  • At least 21 years old
  • Physically fit
  • English speaking
  • Valid passport (ID card is not sufficient for international waters)
  • You have a Facebook account or are willing to create one
  • You are available for a period of 16 days (continuous)

This is an advantage:
Experience at sea

Conditions and agreements

  • It is absolutely impossible to return earlier than planned, unless there is an extremely serious situation such as a death in the family
  • Communication with home is only possible via satellite internet connection. Uploading photo’s and other files is only possible after permission, due to data limits.
  • Costs: return ticket to Malta (available as from € 160) and possibly 1 or 2 nights in a hotel on the island.
  • The skipper determins the assignments. The RIB skipper is always the skipper. This responsibility does not alternate. If you would like to join as RIB skipper, would you also please indicate if you are willing to join as passage member or deck staff?

Volunteering through Boat Refugee Foundation is done on your own responsibility. As a foundation we are not responsible for your trip, the costs, cancellation fees or other circumstances. That’s why it’s important to get a good travel insurance. We have additional insurance for the activities you do for us.
Also, it’s important to inquire about vaccinations prior to the volunteering work. If you wish to be sponsored, you need to see to that yourself!
During a mission the foundation has a buddy system to support colleagues and you maintain a journal to record your experiences.

If you would like to receive follow up care, Boat Refugee Foundation will provide this.

Registration

The Boat Refugee Foundation decided not to start a rescue mission in 2017. After the summer we will make a decision about rescue missions in 2018. Please check in September the website for futher information.