The International Cospas-Sarsat Programme provides accurate, timely, and reliable distress alert and location data to help search and rescue authorities assist persons in distress.
The objective of the Cospas-Sarsat system is to reduce, as far as possible, delays in the provision of distress alerts to SAR services, and the time required to locate a distress and provide assistance, which have a direct impact on the probability of survival of the person in distress at sea or on land.
To achieve this objective, Cospas-Sarsat Participants implement, maintain, co-ordinate and operate a satellite system capable of detecting distress alert transmissions from radiobeacons that comply with Cospas-Sarsat specifications and performance standards, and of determining their position anywhere on the globe. The distress alert and location data is provided by Cospas-Sarsat Participants to the responsible SAR services.
Cospas-Sarsat co-operates with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Telecommunication Union and other international organisations to ensure the compatibility of the Cospas-Sarsat distress alerting services with the needs, the standards and the applicable recommendations of the international community.