The management of Search And Rescue service (SAR) in Greenland is divided between Joint Arctic Command (JACMD), the Air Rescue Coordination Center and the Commissioner of Police in Greenland. Joint Arctic Command and the Air Rescue Coordination Center are collocated in Nuuk.
JACMD administers JRCC Greenland, responsible for the management of maritime rescue service, meaning search and rescue for vessels of any kind in distress on or below sea surface. The coordinating responsibility remains with JACMD without regard to whether the search is carried out at sea, from air or from ashore.
The Danish Transport Authority, manning the Flight Information Centre (FIC) Sondrestrom, is responsible for the management of air navigation service, and therefore the search and rescue of persons in distress by aircraft. The coordinating responsibility remains with FIC without regard to whether the search is carried out at sea, from air or from ashore.
The Commissioner of Police in Greenland is responsible for the management of local rescue service, meaning search and rescue operations in coastal sea areas, as well as ashore.
JACMD has the operational control of Danish ships and equipment used for search and rescue operations and is authorized to assign these ships and vessels specific search areas. However, at any time each individual master bears the full responsibility for his own ship and crew. In this matter, attention is drawn to chapter V, regulation 33, of Notice B from the Danish Maritime Authority (identical to SOLAS convention, chapter V, regulation 33). In accordance with the regulation, the master of a ship, Danish as well as foreign, who receives information regarding people in distress at sea are if capable, obliged to proceed at best speed to provide assistance. Any master whom on his own initiative launch a search and rescue operation in Greenland waters must, as soon as possible inform JACMD of his disposition.
Contact (24 hours a day):
Tel.: +299 36 40 10
Fax: +299 36 40 99
Inmarsat C 433 116 710
Tel.: +299 36 33 18
Fax: +299 36 33 19
Commissioner of Police in Greenland
Tel.: +299 70 14 48, extension 200
Fax: +299 32 41 94
For further information on the rescue service, alerts etc. in Greenland waters, see the annex to Notices to Mariners (EfS), EfS A, on the website of the Danish Maritime Authority.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has prepared guidelines that provide relevant information for ships intending to navigate in Greenland waters. These guidelines are available here: