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The Spanish Maritime Safety Agency (SASEMAR)

SASEMAR’s primary mission in search and rescue operations is to ensure the safety of human life. Responding to drifting ships, medical evacuations, distress calls from oil platforms, recreational accidents, illegal immigration and beached vehicles, Babcock’s support ensures permanent technical readiness and an uncompromising focus on safety.

SASEMAR’s challenges are to protect life at sea and to preserve the marine environment, ensuring cleaner and safer seas. Every year, INAER’s helicopters and planes assist around 5,000 emergencies in the waters surrounding Spain.

The types of emergencies that Sasemar face are diverse, the most common: drifting ships, leisure activity accidents, groundings, illegal immigration, people falling into the water from land, accidents while performing underwater activities etc.

We support 13 operative bases throughout the Spanish coastline and can therefore provide professional, quality and timely delivery of search and rescue services to regions right across the country.

INAER began its search and rescue activities in 1990 and was the first organisation in Spain and the second in Europe to establish this kind of operation. These specialist missions offer a rapid response to emergencies requiring immediate action to deal with the complicated life-and-death situations that can often arise at sea.

Surveillance and monitoring activities for SASEMAR are managed through maritime traffic control centres, which coordinate around 350,000 vessels annually. These centres implement traffic separation devices, which have helped significantly reduce accidents in Spanish waters.

A focus on the environment is key, and since 2007 we have operated three CN235 airplanes for SASEMAR, which carry out the intricate task of monitoring the cleanliness of seawater. The advanced CN235 airplanes are equipped with high-tech systems for searching, locating and measuring pollutants and chemical spills.

We support SASEMAR to operate a unique fleet of 11 helicopters and 3 airplanes across 13 operations bases spread out along the coast of Spain. This modern fleet of life saving vehicles also includes a new Airbus Helicopter EC225; an 11-ton helicopter integrating every technological innovation necessary for optimum performance.


11 helicopters, specially configured for maritime search and rescue operations. These helicopters include:

  • 8 AW139
  • 2 Sikorsky S61
  • 1 Airbus Helicopters EC225

The fleet also includes 3 fixed-wing aircraft EADS-CASA CN 235-300, specially equipped with advanced technology to locate people and vessels in distress, to detect spills and to monitor and identify the polluting vessels.

Operating these modified aircraft are around 300 of the most highly trained and qualified professionals in the industry. These pilots, engineers and rescue specialists undergo a rigorous level of training to prepare them to undertake especially complex and challenging missions.

2013 Operations:

  • 4,850 missions
  • More than 8,000 flight hours

Our long-term partnership with SASEMAR has delivered considerable mission-critical and environmental benefits. More significantly, we know that our expertise, commitment and focus on safe practices in the most challenging of circumstances, has helped to save countless lives. We’re proud that SASEMAR trust us to deliver.

Contact Us

Chris Hodson

Director, Business Development

As a global aviation professional, Chris Hodson has built expertise across both the defense and commercial sectors of the aerospace market. He has worked closely with federal governments, non-governmental organizations and multi-national enterprises in the provision of tailored aviation solutions.