National Search and Rescue Secretariat

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The National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) is an independent agency of the Government of Canada.

It was established in 1986 as one of the recommendations resulting from the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Ocean Ranger disaster.

The NSS reports to the Lead Minister for Search and Rescue (LMSAR), who is the Minister of National Defence. The NSS supports and promotes the National Search and Rescue Program and coordinates SAR activities at the federal level among the following agencies, which in turn, representatives from these organizations comprise the Interdepartmental Committee on Search and Rescue (ICSAR).

NSS works with provincial and territorial SAR authorities to develop and standardize SAR services. NSS also funds research, studies, workshops and conferences, as well as publishing the quarterly SARSCENE magazine.

The NSS also coordinates the Canadian contribution to the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite alerting system, as well as monitoring standards and maintains the Canadian registry for distress beacons.

Another recommendation from the Ocean Ranger disaster has resulted in the "New SAR Initiatives Fund" (NIF). This fund was established by the federal government in 1988 and is managed by the NSS on behalf of the LMSAR. NIF provides annual funding for new projects (or initiatives) that will improve the National Search and Rescue Program.

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