Arabic Speaker - Search & Rescue Team member

September 13, 2017
SOS Mediterranee
Other Maritime Jobs
Vessel type:
Specialised vessel
Italy - Central Mediterranean Sea


As a civic, maritime, humanitarian organization, SOS MEDITERRANEE’s mission is to: Rescue people in distress at sea through maritime search and rescue activities, protect those rescued and assist them by facilitating contact to support networks, give testimony to the realities and many faces of migration.
In March 2016, SOS MED started operating its rescue ship Aquarius in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), section Netherlands in the Mediterranean. MSF oversees the emergency medical care and humanitarian assistance on board. The shipping company handles the nautical management of the ship (bridge, deck, engine, and catering). SOS MEDITERRANEE oversees rescue operations on the water and coordinates the Search and Rescue (SAR) team. None of the sailors and officers on watch on the deck or in the engine are a member of the staff of SOS MEDITERRANEE.
Aquarius has been the only civil society rescue vessel operating without a break in the central Mediterranean since February 2016 and has already given assistance to 23.000 people by October 2017.


The SAR Team members are considered as the arms and the eyes of SOS MEDITERRANEE. They are under the responsibility of the SAR Coordinator, who oversees the mission on-board. They are under the coordination of the Deputy SAR Coordinator for the rescue operations at sea and the daily routine jobs on deck, and under the coordination of the Communication officer for all media activities.
Reports to the SAR Coordinator and collaborates with other Team members.
The Master is responsible for the safety of the ship and all the people on-board.

Duties and responsibilities linked to the Operations

- Can be part of the RIB’s crew to approach and recover the people in distress or to transfer the rescued people to/from another vessel and/or can be part of the deck crew to prepare the rescue equipment and to coordinate the reception of the rescued people on deck. Their position during operations can change and will be decided by the Deputy SARCO according to the team composition and the skills of each SAR members.
- Assist MSF for the humanitarian care during the transit- and disembarkation period:
o Distribute food, water, and non-food materials
o Distribute humanity and attention
o Perform night watch on deck
o Assist with translation and crowd control
o Contribute on the cleaning of the deck and garbage disposal after disembarkation
- Perform bridge watch during patrol and searching periods
- Perform maintenance tasks on SOS Mediterranee equipment.
- Demonstrate and utilize basic seafaring skills and competencies
- Perform training and attend in briefings/debriefings
- Can perform basic life support or recover and take care of dead bodies, under the coordination of MSF
- Help with any other duty linked to the mission as requested by the SAR Coordinator or his/her Deputy, either at sea or during port calls.
- Assist the Deputy SARCO on the implementation and the improvement of the quality system (guidelines, procedures, etc.).
- Assist the Marine crew if requested by the Deputy SARCO or the SARCO for specific tasks related to the ship
- Observe safety and security policies and guidelines.
- During the port call between two rotations, the on-signers and off-signers remain always available in the daytime for handovers, equipment shopping and maintenance works. The people who are not signing-on or -off can have a period off, schedule permitted, instructed by the SARCO.
- Prepare and attend to the feedback session with the SARCO, the Deputy SARCO and then the store managers at the end of the mission
- Can be asked to perform interviews with the press about the rescue operations, under the responsibility of the Communication Officer and within the frame of the communication policy of SOS MEDITERRANEE. The contribution to the media coverage can be done only if it doesn’t affect the other points mentioned above.
- One of the SAR members will take in charge the inventory of the equipment and record all the orders received, the stock transactions and report to the SARCO any needs.

Some of the SAR members, preferably senior staff, have a specific role in the team, with specific duties and skills. These people must organize a proper handover to their relievers after the end of their mission and must train the other team members to ensure a continuity in the process. The handover must be written and sent to the on-signer few days before the port call (if possible).

Boat Drivers:

The boat drivers are chosen by the Deputy SAR Coordinator, in relation with the SARCO and after discussion with the SAR members.
- Drive the boat 1, 2 or 3 during rescue, transfer, and drills
- Keep the boat clean and ready to operate, under the responsibility of the mechanic and by following the related check-lists (cleaning, rinsing, gasoline, rescue equipment check, lifting equipment check, safety equipment check)
- Ensure the launching and recovering procedures are well respected by the boat’s crew and the crane drivers
- Ensure the PPE’s policy is well respected by the boat’s crew members (helmet, gloves, pants, lifejackets)
- Manage the positioning and the movements the journalists/photographers/guest, in relation with the boat leader
- Make sure the backup driver(s) is (are) well trained and ready to take over the position for any reason


- Take care of the boats 1, 2 and 3 and the outboard engines, with the assistance of the boat drivers and the SAR crew members
- Report to SARCO any needs in terms of spare parts/maintenance/orders/external service engineer or any damage
- Report any stock transaction, to update the inventory
- Must update the maintenance record sheet after any work on the engines

Duties and responsibilities linked the European network of SOS MEDITERRANEE

Depending on his/her availabilities, the SAR members can contribute voluntarily to the raising awareness effort in the land after his/her mission onboard (conferences, debates, interviews, etc.). All those interventions are organized through the volunteer’s network by the national associations of the network and take place within the frame of the communication policy and strategy of SOS MEDITERRANEE.

Geographic position and duration of the mission
The Aquarius is based in Catania, Sicily, Italy. The ship calls every 3 weeks for logistical resupply (fuel, food, crew, equipment). The mission occurs in the international waters, off the Libyan coast. SOS MEDITERRANEE operations include security risks. The SAR Team members must join the mission only if they understand the risks, they commit to comply with the security guidelines and respect the instructions given by the SAR Coordinator.
The SAR members embark for minimum 6 weeks and maximum 9 weeks in a row. S/He is encouraged to return if s/he successfully carried out his/her mission. In case of serious concern during a mission, the SAR Coordinator is entitled to ask any SAR team member to disembark at next port call.

Qualifications and requirements

-Significant experience at sea
- Strong motivation and genuine commitment to SOS MED’s core objectives
- Strong work ethic
- Good interpersonal skills, open to cultural diversity
- Solid and reliable, mentally and physically
- Mechanical/practical skills is an advantage
- Experience of boat driving is an advantage
- Experience on rescue operations is an advantage (nurse, paramedic, firefighter, rescuer, etc.)
- Capable of working under the pressure of the vital urgency and in a stressful environment 
- Fluent in English and Arabic. Knowledge of German, Italian or French is an advantage
- European resident or Visa Schengen is mandatory


- Personal Survival Techniques (STCW A-VI/1-1) or equivalent: Basic Safety Training STCW or BOSIET OPITO
- Medical fitness certificate for seafarer (ENG1 or equivalent)
- Discharge book (Seaman’s Book)
- For boat drivers: powerboat driving license (STCW VI/2-2 or equivalent)

Working conditions

Junior staff: 1.140€/month gross.
Senior staff: 1.650€/month gross. (after 9 weeks of seniority)
Free-lance contract. Insured by SOS MEDITERRANEE for repatriation, workplace accident, travel insurance. Social security insurance at the expense of the employee. The travel, food, and accommodation fees are covered by the association for the entire mission. SOS MEDITERRANEE provides Personal Protective Equipment to perform the rescue operations (helmets, lifejackets, dry suits, jackets, trousers, safety boots, radios, goggles, gloves, etc.).
SOS MEDITERRANEE cannot guarantee the consideration of the navigation passed as a seafarer by the maritime national authorities for merchant navy officers to validate certificates. Otherwise, the Master can attest your work onboard the ship. The Aquarius has a Gibraltar flag with 1812 UMS of gross tonnage.
All the SAR member will sign a Code of Conduct and the Charter of SOS MEDITERRANEE before to join the mission.

Recruitment process

The applications are received and selected by SOS MED Operations. Depending on the needs, SOS MED Operations will organize remote or physical interviews with some applicants for technical/practical skills. If the profile is validated, one of the national association will organize a second interview, to assess the soft skills and the capacity to join the project of SOS MEDITERRANEE.

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