Consider suspending an operation when rescue or recovery is very unlikely
You can consider suspending the operation if these conditions apply.
- You cannot locate the subject and further SAR activity is not likely to result in rescue or recovery of the subject.
- You have evidence the subject is likely to be deceased and cannot be recovered.
Follow a process when suspending an operation
To suspend an operation, you must complete these steps.
- Examine the evidence and verify that no further options exist for investigation or SAR activity.
- Get a survivability report from a specialist.
- Complete all documentation for the SAR operation.
- Get a person who is suitably qualified to peer review the SAR operation.
- Let the family of the subject know that you intend to suspend the SAR operation.
- Get approval to suspend the SAR operation.
You must get approval from the correct person to suspend SAR operations:
- For Category 1 searches, you need approval from the Police District Commander.
- For Category 2 aeronautical searches, you need approval from the Director of the Civil Aviation Authority.
- For Category 2 land and maritime searches, you need approval from the Director of Maritime New Zealand.
- For a search for an NZDF asset, you need approval from the Chief of Defence.
Don’t suspend the SAR operation too quickly
You need to wait at least 24 hours from when you began the suspension process to officially suspend the operation.
Understand what a suspension is not
A suspension does not involve:
- recalling or standing down resources temporarily for refreshment because of increased risk from environmental conditions or fatigue
- redirecting limited resources to tasks that are higher priority, including non-search tasks such as investigation
- recalling SAR resources for refreshment because the plan is not achieving the expected results and needs to be refocused.