Cospas-Sarsat Distress Alerts


Since its inception in 1982 the Cospas-Sarsat System has provided distress alert information which has assisted in the rescue of 39,565 persons in 11,070 distress situations.

In 2014 only, the System provided information that was used to rescue 2,354 persons in 685 distress situations. The locations of these events are depicted on the map below. 


 Geogr Dist SAR 2014

The details for specific SAR events assisted by Cospas-Sarsat, as reported by national Administrations to the Cospas-Sarsat Secretariat, are provided in Annex C to document C/S R.007 "Cospas-Sarsat Report on System Status and Operations" availabe under our Professionals webiste under the "System Documents" section (Pro/Documents). Annex C provides both overall statistical information as well as a short description of each SAR event for which Cospas-Sarsat data was instrumental. Each alert is categorized as either:

Only Alert

Cospas-Sarsat was the only source of information provided to SAR authorities.

First Alert

Cospas-Sarsat was the first source of information provided to SAR authorities.

Supporting Data

Information provided by the Cospas-Sarsat System which was not the first or only alert, but was used in conjunction with information from other sources in the SAR operation.

Data not used in SAR

Cospas-Sarsat provided alert and/or location data which was not used by SAR services in support of the search and rescue.

Distress events for which Cospas-Sarsat data was provided to SAR services but was not used, because the necessary information had previously been provided by another source or the distress situation had already been resolved, were not included in the Cospas-Sarsat summary statistics provided at Annex C to document C/S R.007. (In 2014 there were 287 such distress reports).