Search and Rescue

Search and Rescue can be planetary.These are worlds Search and Rescue.The amount of machines they use in these roles.Search and Rescue is important in outer space.So many solar systems and stars that in order to keep track of people they need a Search and Rescue.Planets and amount of land and trees and terrain they could get lost or persuing.
Search and rescue (SAR) is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger. The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, typically determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over. These include mountain rescue; ground search and rescue, including the use of search and rescue dogs; urban search and rescue in cities; combat search and rescue on the battlefield and air-sea rescue over water.

International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) is a UN organization that promotes the exchange of information between national urban search and rescue organizations. The duty to render assistance is covered by Article 98 of the UNCLOS.

1 Definitions
2 History
3 Types of search and rescue
3.1 Ground (Lowland) search and rescue
3.2 Mountain rescue
3.3 Cave rescue
3.4 Urban search and rescue
3.5 Combat search and rescue
3.6 Maritime search and rescue
4 SAR by nation
4.1 Australia
4.2 Azerbaijan
4.3 Belgium
4.4 Brazil
4.5 Canada
4.6 Croatia
4.7 Cyprus
4.8 Denmark
4.9 Estonia
4.10 Finland
4.11 Germany
4.12 Hong Kong
4.13 Iceland
4.14 Indonesia
4.15 Ireland
4.16 Israel
4.17 Italy
4.18 Jordan
4.19 Kenya
4.20 Macau
4.21 Malaysia
4.22 Malta
4.23 Netherlands
4.24 New Zealand
4.25 Norway
4.26 Portugal
4.27 Poland
4.28 South Africa
4.29 Spain
4.30 Sweden
4.31 Switzerland
4.32 Taiwan
4.33 Ukraine
4.34 United Kingdom
4.35 United States
4.36 Vietnam
5 Aircraft
6 See also
7 References
8 External links


There are many different definitions of search and rescue, depending on the agency involved and country in question.

Canadian Forces: "Search and Rescue comprises the search for, and provision of aid to, persons, ships or other craft which are, or are feared to be, in distress or imminent danger."[1]
United States Coast Guard: "The use of available resources to assist persons or property in potential or actual distress."[2]
United States Defense Department: A search is "an operation normally coordinated by a Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) or rescue sub-center, using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress" and rescue is "an operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs, and deliver them to a place of safety."[3]

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One of the world's earliest well-documented SAR efforts ensued following the 1656 wreck of the Dutch merchant ship Vergulde Draeck off the west coast of Australia. Survivors sought help, and in response three separate SAR missions were conducted, without success.[4]

On 29 November 1945, a Sikorsky R-5 performed the first civilian helicopter rescue operation in history, with Sikorsky's chief pilot Dmitry "Jimmy" Viner in the cockpit, using an experimental hoist developed jointly by Sikorsky and Breeze. All 5 crew members of an oil barge, which had run aground on Penfield Reef, were saved before the barge sank.[5]

In 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 with 269 occupants was shot down by a Soviet aircraft near Sakhalin. The Soviets sent SAR helicopters and boats to Soviet waters, while a search and rescue operation was initiated by U.S., South Korean, and Japanese ships and aircraft in international waters, but no survivors were found.[6]

In July 2009, Air France Flight 447 was lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. An international SAR effort was launched, to no avail. A third effort nearly two years later discovered the crash site and recovered the flight recorders.

In early 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed under mysterious circumstances. Many nations contributed to the initial SAR effort, which was fruitless. In June 2014, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioned the MV Fugro Equator to lead a three-month survey of the ocean bed, for which it had budgeted $60mn; at the same time, Malaysia announced it had spent $9.3mn to date on fuel and food in its own effort. The search for Flight 370 has become the largest SAR so far with the largest budget.[7][8]
Types of search and rescue
Rescue rope training
Search and Rescue students give the "I am all right" signal to let the SAR instructors know that they are ready for further instructions at the pool on board Naval Station San Diego.
Ground (Lowland) search and rescue
Main article: Missing person

Ground search and rescue is the search for persons who are lost or in distress on land or inland waterways. People may go missing for a variety of reasons. Some may disappear voluntarily, due to issues like domestic abuse. Others disappear for involuntary reasons such as mental illness, getting lost, an accident, death in a location where they cannot be found or, less commonly, due to abduction. Ground search and rescue missions that occur in urban areas should not be confused with "urban search and rescue", which in many jurisdictions refers to the location and extraction of people from collapsed buildings or other entrapments.[9]

In most countries, the police are the primary agency for carrying out searches for a missing person on land. Some places have voluntary search and rescue teams that can be called out to assist these searches.
Mountain rescue
Main article: Mountain rescue

Mountain rescue relates to search and rescue operations specifically in rugged and mountainous terrain.
Cave rescue
Main article: Cave rescue

Cave rescue is a highly specialized form of rescue for rescuing injured, trapped or lost cave explorers.
Urban search and rescue
Main article: Urban search and rescue

Urban search and rescue (US&R or USAR), also referred to as Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR), is the location and rescue of persons from collapsed buildings or other urban and industrial entrapments. Due to the specialized nature of the work, most teams are multi-disciplinary and include personnel from police, fire and emergency medical services. Unlike traditional ground search and rescue workers, most US&R responders also have basic training in structural collapse and the dangers associated with live electrical wires, broken natural gas lines and other hazards. While earthquakes have traditionally been the cause of US&R operations, terrorist attacks and extreme weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes have also resulted in the deployment of these resources.[10]
Combat search and rescue
Main article: Combat search and rescue

Combat search and rescue (CSAR) is search and rescue operations that are carried out during war that are within or near combat zones.[11]
Maritime search and rescue
Main article: Maritime search and rescue

Maritime search and rescue is carried out at sea to save sailors and passengers in distress, or the survivors of downed aircraft. The type of agency which carries out maritime search and rescue varies by country; it may variously be the coast guard, navy or voluntary organizations. When a distressed or missing vessel is located, these organizations deploy lifeboats to return them to land. In some cases, the agencies may carry out an air-sea rescue (ASR). This refers to the combined use of aircraft (such as flying boats, floatplanes, amphibious helicopters and non-amphibious helicopters equipped with hoists) and surface vessels.[12]
SAR by nation
A rescue air crewman aboard Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service Lifesaver 1 in action.


The Australian search and rescue service is provided by AusSAR, which is part of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).[13] AusSAR operates a 24-hour Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Canberra and is responsible for the national coordination of both maritime and aviation search and rescue. AusSAR is also responsible for the management and operation of the Australian ground segment of the Cospas-Sarsat distress beacon detection system. AusSAR's jurisdiction spans Australia and as well as covering 52.8 million square kilometres of the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans[13] constituting about 12% of the Earth's surface.[14]

AusSAR's RCC is staffed by SAR specialists who have a naval, merchant marine, air force, civil aviation or police service background. The RCC also coordinates medical evacuations, broadcasts maritime safety information and operates the Australian Ship Reporting System (AUSREP).[13] In coordinating search and rescue missions, AusSAR will call on assistance from organisations as appropriate,[15] such as the Defence forces, Border Protection Command, trained aviation organisations (Civil SAR Units), emergency medical helicopters, state Police services and trained Air Observers from the State Emergency Service.[16] There are also other organisations, such as the non-profit Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service that is based at a number of sites around Australia and contracted by various authorities to deliver search and rescue services.


BSAR searchers at Mount Dom Dom.

State Police in many states operate state-based search and rescue squads, such as the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad, which provides specialist expertise, advice and practical assistance in land search and rescue on most terrain including snow and vertical cliff search and rescue.[17] There are also state-based volunteer search and rescue groups such as the Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad[18] in New South Wales and Bush Search and Rescue Victoria[19] in Victoria. These state-based groups draw searchers from bushwalking, mountaineering and specialist rescue clubs within their State. A few groups respond on horseback as mounted search and rescue. The State Emergency Service is a collection of volunteer-based emergency organisations established in each state or territory which are responsible for many rescue efforts in urban and rural areas and in any rescue that results from flood or storm activity. In rural areas the SES conducts most bush search, vertical and road traffic rescues. In urban areas they assist the police and fire services with USAR.[20]

Search and rescue operations in Azerbaijan are managed by the Ministry of Emergency Situations onshore in cooperation with the State Civil Aviation Administration in air and the State Maritime Administration offshore.[21]

Search and rescue duties along the Belgian part of the North Sea are executed by the Belgian Air Component. From its Koksijde Air Base it operates 5 Westland Sea King Mk.48 helicopters.[22]

Search and rescue duties in Brazil are the responsibility of the Salvarmar Brasil (MRCC Brazil), of the Brazilian Navy and Divisão de Busca e Salvamento (D-SAR) (English: Search and Rescue Division), of the Brazilian Air Force.[23]
Canadian Forces CC-115 Buffalo fixed wing SAR aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron.
CH-146 Griffon in SAR markings
Boeing-Vertol CH-113 Labrador SAR helicopter, the predecessor of the CH-149 Cormorant
C-130 are also used by the Canadian Forces for SAR operations
See also: Canadian Forces Search and Rescue

Air and marine Search and rescue duties in Canada are the responsibility of the Canadian Forces and Canadian Coast Guard in conjunction with volunteer organizations. The Department of National Defence (DND) has overall responsibility for the coordinated search and rescue system. SAR operations are organized by Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCC). The JRCC are manned 24 hours a day by SAR Co-ordinators from the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Forces. Authority for the provision of maritime SAR is assigned to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans by the Canada Shipping Act and the Canada Oceans Act.[1] Ground and inland water search and rescue (GSAR) is the responsibility of provinces and territories with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other police forces coordinating operations, often using volunteer GSAR teams operating in specific areas under provincial coordinating bodies.[24]

The Canada Shipping Act, most recently passed in 2001, is the framework document that funds international SAR activities.[25]

The Canadian Forces have five assigned SAR squadrons:

103 Search and Rescue Squadron, CFB Gander, CH-149 Cormorant[26]
413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, CFB Greenwood, CH-149 Cormorant & CC-130 Hercules[27]
424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, CFB Trenton, CH-146 Griffon & CC-130 Hercules[28]
435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, CFB Winnipeg, CC-130 Hercules[29]
442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, CFB Comox, CH-149 Cormorant & CC-115 Buffalo[30]

Plus three Combat Support Squadrons with SAR roles:

417 Combat Support Squadron, CFB Cold Lake, CH-146 Griffon[31]
439 Combat Support Squadron, CFB Bagotville, CH-146 Griffon[32]
444 Combat Support Squadron, CFB Goose Bay, CH-146 Griffon[33]

Some municipalities and provinces have their own SAR units:

Halton Regional Police Service Marine Unit - using marine craft on Lake Ontario
Toronto Police Service Marine Unit - using marine craft on Lake Ontario
Peel Regional Police Marine Unit - using marine craft on Lake Ontario and rivers in Peel Region
Ontario Provincial Police Marine Unit - using marine craft on Great Lakes (excluding Lake Michigan) and Georgian Bay
Durham Regional Police Marine Unit - using marine craft on Lake Ontario and lakes within Durham Region
York Regional Police Marine Unit - using marine craft on Lake Simcoe
Niagara Regional Police Marine Unit - using marine craft on Niagara River and Lake Ontario
Vancouver Police Department - using marine craft on waterways around the City of Vancouver
Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (Toronto) - using land base equipment
Brockville Police Service Marine Patrol Unit - using a boat on the St. Lawrence River

There are also volunteer non-profit associations that conduct SAR in Canada:

British Columbia, there are 80 community based volunteer Groups in B.C. providing GSAR services within assigned areas in conjunction with Police, ambulance and other agencies. The GSAR Groups are represented by the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association[34]
Alberta / BC Cave Rescue, Alberta/British Columbia[35]
Canada Task Force 2, Alberta[36]
Civil Air Search and Rescue Association[37]
ERT Search and Rescue[38]
Grande Prairie Technical Search and Rescue Association, Alberta[39]
Halifax Regional Search and Rescue - Nova Scotia[40]
North Shore Rescue, British Columbia.[41]
Pincher Creek Search and Rescue, Alberta[42]
Québec Secours, Québec.[43]
River Valley Ground Search and Rescue, New Brunswick[44]
Roberts Bank Lifeboat - Delta, BC[45]
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM SAR)[46]
Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais - Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue - Ottawa, ON and Gatineau, QC[47]
Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN), Manitoba[48]
Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue (Canadian Task Force One), British Columbia[49]
York Sunbury Search & Rescue - New Brunswick[50]

A boat of the Search and Rescue Service in Trogir, Spring 2014

In Croatia the SAR Service is part of the Croatian Navy and the Croatian Coast Guard with their headquarter in Rijeka.[51]
A Cyprus Air Force AW139 SAR helicopter during a search and rescue demonstration

The Cyprus Republic Search and Rescue (SAR) system is organized by the Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC Larnaca).

The JRCC (Greek: Κέντρο Συντονισμού Έρευνας και Διάσωσης) is an independent agency of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus that started its operations on a 24h basis on 7 August 1995 as a unit of the Cyprus Air Force Command.[52]

On 1 March 2002, the JRCC took full responsibility for investigating, organizing, coordinating and executing every SAR incident-operation in the Republic of Cyprus Search & Rescue Region (SRR).[52] JRCC Larnaca operated as a military unit until 26 July 2010, when JRCC was transformed to an independent agency under the Ministry of Defence with the Minister being responsible for its operational aspects. Logistic and technical support is the responsibility of the Ministry of Communications & Works.[53] Its primary mission is to organize the Cyprus Republic Search And Rescue system, to co-ordinate, control and direct SAR operations in its area of responsibility (which is identical to the Nicosia FIR), in order to find and rescue people whose lives are at risk, as a result of an air or naval accident, in the least possible time.[54] This is achieved by coordinating all the different agencies involved such as the Cyprus Police Aviation Unit, the Cyprus Port and Naval Police, the Cyprus National Guard Naval Command, the Cyprus National Guard Air Force Command, the Cyprus Civil Defence and other secondary units.[55]

The JRCC reports directly to the operational control of the Ministry of Defence and it is staffed by qualified personnel of the Cyprus National Guard, mainly from the branches of the Navy and the Air Force.[53]
Royal Danish Air Force S-61A with its rescue swimmer

Search and Rescue operators in Denmark are primarily: Danish air force Squadron 722, Danish navy air squadron, naval home guard and the Danish Maritime Safety Administration, coordinated by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, operated by the navy and air force in the Danish Naval Commands facilities near Aarhus. Internationally the Danish works mainly with Germany, Norway and Sweden. With the two latter, the annual exercises Baltic SAREX[56] and Scan-SAR[57] are conducted.

SAR services in Denmark started in 1957 with seven Sikorsky S-55s. Their piston engines produced only 550 hp (410 kW) and they had limited fuel capacity, so their operational range was short. To increase the operational area, Pembroke twin-engined fixed-wing aircraft were employed for search. These aircraft would localize the distressed person(s) and the S-55s would then rescue them. The SAR service was started for respond to fighter-plane crashes as 79 aircraft crashed, with 62 dead, in the period 1950-1955.,[58] but civilian SAR duties are also conducted.

In 1962 eight ship-based Aérospatiale Alouette IIIs were received. These were primarily meant for the ships patrolling the North Atlantic, but also supported the S-55s. In 1964 - 1965 the seven S-55s were replaced with eight Sikorsky S-61A helicopters.[59] This helicopter was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare, but the Danish variant had the heavy dipping sonar equipment removed and extra fuel tanks added, giving the helicopters longer range. In 1977 radar was installed and in 1990 FLIR was added. Further avionics and navigation systems, including GPS, have also been added over time.

In 1977 the naval air squadron was re-established as an independent squadron in the navy and had their Alouette IIIs replaced with Westland Lynx helicopters. Their primary operational area was still the North Atlantic, but they continued their support role, although this was reduced with the introduction of the S-61s. In 2006, the first of the S-61s was replaced by one of 14 new AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin helicopters.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rescue helicopters in Denmark.

In 2007 the Danish Defence held a public display in Horsens, to raise awareness about rescue services and maritime safety. Maritime SAR is important because Denmark has a relative long coast line to its land mass.[60][61]

In 2008 the SAR forces in Denmark were equipped with eight EH-101, one or two Lynx, 34 naval home guard vessels and 21 rescue vessels[62] as well as the naval vessels at sea. The EH-101s operate from bases in Aalborg, Skrydstrup and Roskilde. When the sea water temperatures are low a helicopter is also deployed to the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. The Lynx operates from Karup. Maritime vessels are spread out through the entire coastline and on islands. The S-61s and EH-101s have a crew of six: Two pilots, a navigator, a flight engineer, a physician and a rescue swimmer.
SAR training by the Estonian Border Guard.

The Estonian Border Guard (Piirivalve) is the Estonian security authority responsible for the border security. It is the main support organisation for search and rescue missions in Estonia, and operates a small fleet of SAR vessels and helicopters.[63]

In Finland local rescue services (i.e. fire departments) are responsible for land and inland water SAR, the Border Guard is responsible for maritime areas. These organizations alert and decide on the most suitable response for the location and situation. The country also has several volunteer organizations such as the volunteer fire department (VPK),[64] the Finnish Lifeboat Institution (SMPS)[65] and the Red Cross Finland (SPR).[66]
A cruiser of the DGzRS and a SeaKing helicopter of the German Navy

Search and Rescue in German waters is conducted by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service with air support by the German Navy and the German Air Force. All incoming requests are coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Bremen. The DGzRS is a non-governmental organization entirely supported by donations.[67] Also the German Coast Guard provide SAR services.[citation needed] Besides the offshore Search And Rescue services, the German Air Force provides 3 SAR Command Posts on a 24/7 basis with the Bell UH-1D Huey.[68]

Further, the Technisches Hilfswerk is a key component of the German disaster relief framework. It is, among other things, regularly involved in urban search and rescue efforts abroad.[69]
Hong Kong
Hong Kong GFS AS332 L2 Super Puma SAR helicopter
HK GFS EC155 helicopter
Royal Air Force Westland Wessex HC2 SAR helicopter off Hong Kong
Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin SAR helicopter

SAR operations are conducted by the Government Flying Service (GFS) and before 1993 by the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. The GFS conducts maritime SAR within the 400-nautical-mile (740 km) radius of the Hong Kong Flight Information Region (FIR).[70]

As of 2010, the GFS fleet consists of nine aircraft including:[70]

2 BAe Jetstream 41 - for aerial SAR surveillance
3 Eurocopter Super Puma (Super Puma L2) - inshore and offshore SAR
4 Eurocopter EC155 B1 - inshore SAR

Other civilian search and rescue units in Hong Kong include:

Civil Aid Service - works in conjunction with the Hong Kong Fire Services Dept and the air support from the Government Flying Service
Hong Kong Fire Services/Hong Kong Marine Police - various vessels and rescue divers - with air support from the GFS
Mountain Search and Rescue Company of Civil Aid Service Hong Kong[71]
Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre is responsible for coordinating other civil agencies in regards to marine SAR operations in waters around Hong Kong
Countryside Volunteer Search Team

Icelandic Coast Guard Eurocopter AS-365N Dauphin 2 helicopter

The Icelandic Coast Guard is responsible for coordinating all maritime and aviation search and rescue activities in the Icelandic Search and Rescue Region (SRR), that has the size of 1.9 million square kilometres. The Icelandic Coast Guard operates JRCC ICELAND in combination with the Coast Guard's operation centre, the maritime traffic service and the coastal radio stations. If aircraft crash site is located on land the control of the rescue operations is diverted to the Icelandic Police, which is responsible for SAR operations on land. The Icelandic Coast Guard (JRCC ICELAND) is the Cospas-Sarsat SAR Point of Contact. ISAVIA, which operates the Air Traffic Control in Iceland, is responsible for the aviation alerting services. The Icelandic Coast Guard operates maritime patrol aircraft, SAR helicopters and patrol vessels.[72]

The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg) (ICESAR) is a volunteer organization with about 100 rescue teams located all around the island. ICESAR is a great support to SAR operations both on land and sea. All the rescue teams contain groups of specially trained individuals.[73]

A specialized INSARAG External Classification certified rubble rescue squad operates under the Icelandic Association of Search and Rescue. It was the first rescue squad to arrive in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.[74]

The National Search and Rescue Agency of Indonesia known in Indonesian as Badan Nasional Pencarian dan Pertolongan abbreviated "BASARNAS", is a government agency responsible for conducting search and rescue duties nationally in Indonesia. BASARNAS may also be assisted in conducting SAR in Indonesia by the TNI, Mobile Brigade Corps, and local Fire brigade units.[75]
Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky S-61N SAR helicopter
A search and rescue demonstration by an Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky S-61 helicopter and a RNLI lifeboat.

Maritime SAR services are provided by two civilian bodies - the Irish Coast Guard[76] and the RNLI. The Coast Guard has responsibility for the Irish Search and Rescue Region.[77] The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has 43 lifeboat stations including inland stations at Enniskillen and Lough Derg,[78] the coastguard inshore rescue boats,[79] and community rescue boats at fifteen stations: Ballinskelligs - Co. Kerry, Ballybunion - Co. Kerry, Ballyheigue - Co. Kerry, Banna - Co. Kerry, Bantry - Co. Cork, Bunmahon - Co. Waterford, Cahore - Co. Wexford, Carna - Co. Galway, Corrib/Mask Lakes - Co. Galway, Derrynane - Co. Kerry, Limerick City (River Shannon), Mallow Search and Rescue - Co. Cork, Schull - Co. Cork, Tramore - Co. Waterford, Waterford City River Rescue, Waterford Marine Search & Rescue.[80] There are some 25 other independent rescue services.[81]

Mountain Rescue in Ireland is provided by 12 voluntary teams based in different regions of the country.[82]

The Irish Defence Forces are assigned from time to time to carry out search and rescue operations.[83] Ireland's special forces, the Army Ranger Wing have been used for search and rescue operations in difficult or dangerous operations on land and at sea.[84][85] The Irish Air Corps are used for rescue and provide top cover for search and rescue over land or sea[86] and is available for maritime and mountain rescue if needed. The Irish Naval Service frequently assists the other agencies in search and rescue. Its patrol ships at sea and the communications center at Haulbowline maintain a 24-hour watch on all distress frequencies.[87]
Helicopter of Magen David Adom

SAR in Israel is the responsibility of the IDF Home Front Command Search and Rescue (SAR). The unit was established at its current strength in 1984, combining all the specialist units that were involved with SAR until that time.[88]

The SAR unit is a rapid mobilization force and has an airborne transport and deployment capability for its personnel and equipment. The unit is composed of reserve personnel, with a regular cadre based at the Bahad 16 Unit training facility. With a focus on urban SAR, the unit operates specialized equipment, including a locally developed device for locating persons trapped under rubble by detecting seismic and acoustic emissions given off by the victims. The SAR unit also uses Search and rescue dogs specially trained to locate people buried under debris.

Israeli SAR resources

Israel Defense Forces
Medical Corps (Israel)
Home Front Command
Bahad 16
Oketz Unit
Israel Police
Magen David Adom

Italian AgustaWestland AW139 for sea rescue.
Italian AS365 Dauphin rescue helicopter
SAR crew of an Italian AgustaWestland AW109 roping down to an emergency at the beach of Jesolo

Italian SAR operations are carried out by the Guardia Costiera,[89] backed up by naval aviation and the air force, including 15 ° Stormo,[90] the Italian Red Cross,[91] and other organizations.

Jordan’s Civil Defense Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) has achieved the UN classification as a heavy USAR team. The team's role mainly earthquake rescue.[92]

Kenya's maritime SAR is conducted by the Kenya Maritime Agency while the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for Air Traffic SAR within Kenya's waterways and aerospace respectively [93] [94].

Macau's maritime SAR is conducted by two units:

The Macau Marine Department and responsible for maritime SAR within Macau's waterways. The Macau Search and Rescue Coordination Centre is under the Vessel Traffic Control Centre of Macao of the Maritime Administration of Macau.[95]
MMEA's Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin used for SAR and surveillance.

For ground rescue, Malaysia has two main SAR units, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) which reports to the National Security Council and Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (FRDM) Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM) unit.[96] They are usually supported by the jungle experts, the aboriginal police unit; Senoi Praaq, Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) VAT 69 Commando, Malaysian Armed Force special operations force and Malaysian Civil Defence Force.[clarification needed] Both SMART and STORM together with other Fire and Rescue Department Special Operations Forces are often involved in international SAR missions.[97][98][99][100]

Maritime SAR is the responsibility of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and FRDM together with support from the Marine Operations Force and the Malaysian Armed Forces.[101][102]
The AFM's search and rescue launches Melita I and Melita II have been used for search and rescue operations since 1999.

The responsibility for SAR at sea in the Malta Search and Rescue Region falls under the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM). It is carried out by maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters and vessels under the co-ordination, command and control of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre.[103]

The AFM, in close collaboration with the US Coast Guard, also runs a Search and Rescue Training Centre for International Students [104] in Maritime SAR Mission Co-ordination and Planning.[105] To date more than 30 foreign students from 15 countries including Albania, Cameroon, Croatia, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya have attended these courses.[106][107]

Malta is also in talks with Libya about enhancing SAR cooperation between the two countries.[108] [needs update]

SAR responsibility in the Netherlands is held by the Netherlands Coastguard, carried out by vessels and aircraft from various organisations among which mostly the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution, the Dutch Lifeguard Association, the Ministry of Transport and Water Management and the Ministry of Defence (Netherlands).
New Zealand

New Zealand's Search and Rescue Region extends from the South Pole to the southern border of the Honolulu region, including Norfolk, Tonga, Samoa, and Cook Islands.[109]

Smaller searches are controlled by the local police, who call on LandSAR for land-based operations, such as for lost hikers known as tramping in New Zealand, and the Royal New Zealand Coastguard for coastal maritime incidents. Larger maritime search and rescue events, as well as reports of overdue aircraft, fall under the control of the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), based in Avalon, which coordinates response from local coastguard, helicopter operators, merchant marine, air force and naval resources.[109][110][111]

Urban Search and Rescue falls primarily within the domain of the New Zealand Fire Service, particularly the three USAR Taskforce groups based in Palmerston North, Christchurch, and Auckland. These teams draw together numerous specialists and organisations to achieve an integrated multi-agency response.[112]

Among those organisations that act in a support capacity for NZFS are Response Teams (NZRTs). These are regional rescue groups of professional volunteers that train to a minimum industry standard of USAR Category 1R (USAR Responder), which is also standard for NZFS firefighters. Response Teams are registered with the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), and assist their local MCDEM Groups and communities in emergencies to supplement full-time emergency services. Their additional capabilities, which vary among different teams, include: high angle rope rescue, storm response, swift water response, medics, welfare, and rural fire support.[113] Many Response Teams were deployed to assist in the rescue and recovery effort of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Other resources:

Westpac Rescue Helicopter (New Zealand) - charitable organization
New Zealand Land SAR Search Dogs - the official NZ search dogs group providing land search & rescue services under NZ Land SAR, wilderness and avalanche rescue dogs.[114]

The veteran Norwegian rescue ship Biskop Hvoslef

The search and rescue helicopters are operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), who fly 12 Westland Sea Kings. The Norwegian Sea Kings are due to be replaced.[115]
Portuguese Search and Rescue Area

Three different agencies are responsible for providing search and rescue in Portugal. The Portuguese Navy is responsible for all sea rescues, the Portuguese Air Force[116] for all the rescues originating within the airspace, including aircraft crashes and the Autoridade Nacional de Protecção Civil (ANPC) for all inland rescues. All of the above coordinate closely with each other providing a comprehensive search and rescue service.

The Portuguese area of responsibility comprises the Lisbon and Santa Maria Flight Information Regions (FIR).[117]
A Polish Navy W-3 Sokół SAR helicopter hoists a crew member

In Poland most search and rescue operations are undertaken by the airborne units of the Polish Armed Forces. The Navy currently has the largest SAR fleet of helicopters and also operates a number of small vessels for the purpose of rescuing crewmen of stricken ships. There is also, however a semi-governmental organisation known as the 'Morska Służba Poszukiwania i Ratownictwa' (Maritime Search and Rescue Service)[118] which provides the vast majority of seaborne services to vessels in distress; the service is currently (as of 2010) in the process of overhauling and replacing a large portion of its fleet of lifeboats.

Other civilian search and rescue units in Poland include:

Górskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe, GOPR (Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue)
Tatrzańskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe, TOPR (Tatra Mountains Volunteer Search and Rescue)
Wodne Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe, WOPR (Water Volunteer Search and Rescue) - operating on inland and coastal waters

South Africa

Search and Rescue services are offered by various government departments, non governmental organizations, commercial/private organizations and voluntary organizations organisations in South Africa. There is no single organisation responsible for urban, wilderness, swift water, aviation or maritime/sea rescue.

Aviation and maritime incidents are the responsibility of the South African Search and Rescue Organization (SASAR). SASAR is a voluntary organization that functions under the auspices of the Department of Transport. Its main role is to search for, assist and carry out rescue operations for the survivors of aircraft or vessel accidents. Depending on the nature of the accident, the RCC's (ARCC or MRCC) coordinate the search and rescue missions. These operations are carried out by other government departments, non governmental organizations, commercial/private organizations and voluntary organizations.[119]

Local resources:

National Sea Rescue Institute
Wilderness Search and Rescue Cape Town[120]
Mountain Club of South Africa Search and Rescue
Off Road Rescue Unit[121]
Rescue South Africa[122]
K9 Search and Rescue[123]

CASA CN-235 Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Maritima.
Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Maritima AgustaWestland AW139 SAR helicopter

Search and rescue duties in Spain are the responsibility of the national government, in conjunction with regional and municipal governments. The Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima is the main organization, and has overall responsibility for the maritime search and rescue, that also coordinates the SAR efforts with other agencies:[124]

Spanish Navy
Spanish Air Force
Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera
Servicio Marítimo de la Guardia Civil
Instituto Social de la Marina
Spanish Red Cross

Swedish rescue vessel Drottning Silvia (Queen Silvia) in front of the Royal Castle in Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish Maritime Administration is responsible for maritime SAR in Swedish waters.[125] The Sjöräddningssällskapet, or Swedish Sea Rescue Society is an organization aiming at saving lives and recovering property at sea, much the same as the Norwegian Norsk Selskab til Skibbrudnes Redning. The society operates 68 search and rescue stations and some 185 ships manned by 2100 volunteers, of those more than 300 are on call at any time, and can respond within 15 minutes. In 2011, the volunteers turned out to an emergency 3274 times. The Swedish Sea Rescue Society is involved 70% of the number SAR missions in Swedish waters.[126]
REGA Agusta A109 K2.

REGA (Schweizerische REttungsflugwacht / Garde Aérienne / Guardia Aerea) is the air rescue service which provides emergency medical assistance in Switzerland, notably in mountains but also in cases of life-threatening emergencies elsewhere. They will also return a citizen to Switzerland from a foreign country if they are in need of urgent medical care. Rega was established on 27 April 1952 by Dr. Rudolf Bucher, who thought that the Swiss rescue organisation needed a specialised air sub-section.[127]

National Airborne Service Corps (NASC; Chinese: 內政部空中勤務總隊; pinyin: Nèizhèngbù Kōngzhōng Qínwù Zǒngduì) is the agency of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China responsible for executing and providing support for search and rescue, disaster relief, emergency medical service, transportation, monitoring, reconnaissance and patrol in Taiwan.[128]

Coast Guard Administration (CGA; Chinese: 行政院海岸巡防署; pinyin: Xíngzhèngyuàn Hǎi'àn Xúnfáng Shǔ) is charged with maintaining coastal waters and the pelagic zone patrols, smuggling and stowaway crackdowns, maritime rescues, natural resource conservation, and public services. The CGA is considered a civilian law enforcement agency under the administration of the Executive Yuan, though during emergencies it may be incorporated as part of the Republic of China Armed Forces.[129]

In Ukraine search and rescue is conducted by the State Search and Rescue Aviation Service of the Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine Ukraviaposhuk.[130]
United Kingdom
Royal Air Force Westland Sea King
HM Coastguard Sikorsky S-92 SAR helicopter

In the UK, land-based searches for a missing person are usually coordinated by the local police. There is a network of local volunteer agencies that can be called out to assist these searches, which are part of the Association of Lowland Search And Rescue. Other voluntary agencies exist to provide specialist search and rescue services, such as the Cave Rescue Organisation and Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland. These organisations are usually called out indirectly by the police. For example, the British Cave Rescue Council advises that if someone goes missing in a cave, callers should contact the local police who will then summon cave rescue.[131] Urban search and rescue units are run by the fire services.

Her Majesty's Coastguard are in charge of maritime search and rescue missions. The Coastguard is one of the four emergency services that can be contacted on 999. Their role is to initiate and coordinate the searches. Lifeboats are provided by volunteer agencies, most often by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Aircraft for an air-sea rescue were originally provided by the Royal Air Force. Under the programme SAR-H, they are now operated under contract by Bristow Helicopters.[132]

Local resources include:

Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue[133]
Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association
Cave Rescue Organisation
Cheshire Search and Rescue[134]
ERT (Emergency Response Team) Search and Rescue (ERT SAR)[38]
Hampshire Search and Rescue[135]
Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team[136]
Mercia Inshore Search and Rescue
Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NORLSAR)[137]
Northamptonshire Search and Rescue (NSAR)[138]
Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team
Lowland Rescue Search Dogs Sussex[139]
Suffolk Search and Rescue[140]
Severn Area Rescue Association
Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association
West Mercia Search and Rescue (WMSAR)

United States
Main article: Search and rescue in the United States
US Coast Guard Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin SAR helicopter
US Coast Guard Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk SAR helicopter

In the United States there are many organizations with SAR responsibilities at the national, state and local level. Most day-to-day SAR missions in the US are run by the County Sheriffs,[142] except in states like AK & AZ where the State Highway Patrol oversees SAR. They in turn, can request help from state and national resources, if they think they need them. A typical Sheriff's Office has a volunteer SAR team that matches the terrain and population of that county. SAR members are typically trained in the Incident Command System (ICS),[143] first aid, and the outdoor skills needed in that terrain and climate. Most of this article is about the federal response to assist large complicated SAR missions.

In January 2008, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the National Response Framework which serves as the guiding document for a federal response during a national emergency. Search and Rescue is divided into 4 primary elements, while assigning a federal agency with the lead role for each of the 4 elements.[144]

Structural Collapse-USAR: Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency
Waterborne: United States Coast Guard, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Inland-wilderness: United States Department of Interior, National Park Service
Aeronautical: United States Air Force via the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and USAF rescue wings, groups and squadrons in the Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces (for Alaska and Hawaii), Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard; the Civil Air Patrol in its role as the USAF Auxiliary; and the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, both Active and Reserve (secondary missions for land-based USN maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons and land-based and sea-based USN/USMC helicopter squadrons)[citation needed]

In the U.S., SAR standards are developed primarily by ASTM International and the U.S. NFPA which are then used by organizations such as the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), the U.S. National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR), and the NFPA to develop training that will meet or exceed those standards.[145] Within ASTM International, most standards of relevance to SAR are developed by Committee F32 on Search and Rescue. Formed in 1988, the committee had 85 current members and jurisdiction of 38 approved standards.[145]

Under command of the Central Government:

National Committee of Search and Rescue is responsible for searching, rescuing and disaster relief.[146]
Central Committee of Prevention of Natural Disasters is responsible for analyzing information and monitoring disaster relief processes.[147]

Under command of local People's Committee:

Each province and municipality has a Provincial or City Committee of Prevention of Natural Disaster

Under command of the Ministry of Defense:

General Staff: Department of Rescue of Vietnam People's Army is responsible for coordinating all military rescue activities (including ground force rescue activities).[148]
Navy: Office of Rescue of Vietnam People's Navy is responsible for coordinating naval rescue activities.
Air Force: Office of Rescue of Vietnam People's Air Force is responsible for coordinating air force rescue activities.
Coast Guard: Office of Rescue of Vietnam Coast Guard is responsible for coordinating coastal rescue activities.
Border Guard: Office of Rescue of Vietnam Border Defense Force is responsible for coordinating border rescue activities.

Under command of the Ministry of Public Security:

Vietnam Fire and Rescue Police Department is responsible for fire fighting activities.[149]

Under command of the Ministry of Transport:

Department of Maritime Administration: Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (VMRCC) is responsible for maritime rescue activities.[150] VMRCC is divided into 4 Rescue Regions:
Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Region I: operate in Tonkin Gulf
Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Region II: operate in North Central sea
Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Region III: operate in Gulf of Thailand and Southern sea
Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Region IV: operate in South Central sea
Corporation of Air Traffic Management: Vietnam Aviation Search and Rescue Coordination Center (VARCC) is responsible for air rescue activities.[151] VARCC is divided into 3 Rescue Regions:
Vietnam Aviation Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Northern Vietnam: operate in Northern region
Vietnam Aviation Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Central Vietnam: operate in Central region
Vietnam Aviation Search and Rescue Coordination Center of Southern Vietnam: operate in Southern region
Vietnam Railway Rescue and Natural Calamity Response Center of Northern Vietnam: operates in Northern region
Vietnam Railway Rescue and Natural Calamity Response Center of Central Vietnam: operates in Central region
Vietnam Railway Rescue and Natural Calamity Response Center of Southern Vietnam: operates in Southern region

Spanish Air Force Aérospatiale SA330J Puma of 801 Squadron flying in an airshow. It is lifting a stretcher with a hoist. On the side of the helicopter is lettering reading "SAR", in yellow against the military grey color scheme.
Spanish Air Force Aérospatiale SA330J Puma of the 801 Squadron of the Air Force. Note the lettering reading "SAR".

Rotary and fixed wing aircraft are used for air and sea rescue. A list of common aircraft used:

Aérospatiale SA330 Puma
Aérospatiale SA360 Dauphin
AgustaWestland AW109
AgustaWestland AW139
AgustaWestland AW101
AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant
Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Bell CH-146 Griffon
Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight
CH-113 Labrador and 113A Voyageur
Eurocopter Dauphin - variant of Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin
Eurocopter Dolphin HH-65
Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin 2
Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma
Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
Lockheed HC-130 Hercules
Lockheed P-3 Orion
Sikorsky S-61
Sikorsky S-70 Blackhawk
Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk
Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
Sikorsky S-76
Sikorsky S-92
Sikorsky H-92 Superhawk
Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone
Westland Sea King
Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects.[1][2][3] Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications.[4] Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some—such as the Hindus, Chinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.[5]:83

Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine.[6] It was present in political circles and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca. Following the end of the 19th century and the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged successfully on both theoretical[7]:249;[8] and experimental grounds,[9][10] and has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power.[5] Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined.[11] While polls have demonstrated that approximately one quarter of American, British, and Canadian people say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives,[12] astrology is now recognized as a pseudoscience—a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific.[13][14][15][16][17]
Astrology was taken up by Islamic scholars[50] following the collapse of Alexandria to the Arabs in the 7th century, and the founding of the Abbasid empire in the 8th. The second Abbasid caliph, Al Mansur (754–775) founded the city of Baghdad to act as a centre of learning, and included in its design a library-translation centre known as Bayt al-Hikma 'House of Wisdom', which continued to receive development from his heirs and was to provide a major impetus for Arabic-Persian translations of Hellenistic astrological texts. The early translators included Mashallah, who helped to elect the time for the foundation of Baghdad,[51] and Sahl ibn Bishr, (a.k.a. Zael), whose texts were directly influential upon later European astrologers such as Guido Bonatti in the 13th century, and William Lilly in the 17th century.[52] Knowledge of Arabic texts started to become imported into Europe during the Latin translations of the 12th century.
Western astrology is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person's birth.[87] It uses the tropical zodiac, which is aligned to the equinoctial points.[88]

Western astrology is founded on the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies such as the Sun, Moon and planets, which are analysed by their movement through signs of the zodiac (twelve spatial divisions of the ecliptic) and by their aspects (based on geometric angles) relative to one another. They are also considered by their placement in houses (twelve spatial divisions of the sky).[89] Astrology's modern representation in western popular media is usually reduced to sun sign astrology, which considers only the zodiac sign of the Sun at an individual's date of birth, and represents only 1/12 of the total chart.[90]

The horoscope visually expresses the set of relationships for the time and place of the chosen event. These relationships are between the seven 'planets', signifying tendencies such as war and love; the twelve signs of the zodiac; and the twelve houses. Each planet is in a particular sign and a particular house at the chosen time, when observed from the chosen place, creating two kinds of relationship.[91] A third kind is the aspect of each planet to every other planet, where for example two planets 120° apart (in 'trine') are in a harmonious relationship, but two planets 90° apart ('square') are in a conflicted relationship.[92][93] Together these relationships and their interpretations supposedly form "…the language of the heavens speaking to learned men."[91]

Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism, and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists, but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition. Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, organised by planet, as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians.[94]
The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and considers it a pseudoscience.[15][16][17]:1350 Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.[10]:424;[114][115] There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics.[7]:249;[8] Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterised as doing so "…in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."[116]

Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias, a psychological factor that contributes to belief in astrology.[117]:344;[118]:180–181;[119]:42–48 [a][120]:553 Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Another, separate, form of confirmation bias also plays a role, where believers often fail to distinguish between messages that demonstrate special ability and those that do not.[118]:180–181 Thus there are two distinct forms of confirmation bias that are under study with respect to astrological belief.[118]:180–181

Under the criterion of falsifiability, first proposed by the philosopher of science Karl Popper, astrology is a pseudoscience.[121] Popper regarded astrology as "pseudo-empirical" in that "it appeals to observation and experiment," but "nevertheless does not come up to scientific standards."[122]:44 In contrast to scientific disciplines, astrology has not responded to falsification through experiment.[123]:206

In contrast to Popper, the philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued that it was not lack of falsifiability that makes astrology unscientific, but rather that the process and concepts of astrology are non-empirical.[124]:401 Kuhn thought that, though astrologers had, historically, made predictions that categorically failed, this in itself does not make astrology unscientific, nor do attempts by astrologers to explain away failures by claiming that creating a horoscope is very difficult. Rather, in Kuhn's eyes, astrology is not science because it was always more akin to medieval medicine; astrologers followed a sequence of rules and guidelines for a seemingly necessary field with known shortcomings, but they did no research because the fields are not amenable to research,[125]:8 and so "they had no puzzles to solve and therefore no science to practise."[124]:401;[125]:8 While an astronomer could correct for failure, an astrologer could not. An astrologer could only explain away failure but could not revise the astrological hypothesis in a meaningful way. As such, to Kuhn, even if the stars could influence the path of humans through life astrology is not scientific.[125]:8

The philosopher Paul Thagard asserts that astrology cannot be regarded as falsified in this sense until it has been replaced with a successor. In the case of predicting behaviour, psychology is the alternative.[13]:228 To Thagard a further criterion of demarcation of science from pseudoscience is that the state-of-the-art must progress and that the community of researchers should be attempting to compare the current theory to alternatives, and not be "selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations."[13]:227–228 Progress is defined here as explaining new phenomena and solving existing problems, yet astrology has failed to progress having only changed little in nearly 2000 years.[13]:228[126]:549 To Thagard, astrologers are acting as though engaged in normal science believing that the foundations of astrology were well established despite the "many unsolved problems," and in the face of better alternative theories (psychology). For these reasons Thagard views astrology as pseudoscience.[13][126]:228

For the philosopher Edward W. James, astrology is irrational not because of the numerous problems with mechanisms and falsification due to experiments, but because an analysis of the astrological literature shows that it is infused with fallacious logic and poor reasoning.[127]:34

What if throughout astrological writings we meet little appreciation of coherence, blatant insensitivity to evidence, no sense of a hierarchy of reasons, slight command over the contextual force of critieria, stubborn unwillingness to pursue an argument where it leads, stark naivete concerning the effiacacy of explanation and so on? In that case, I think, we are perfectly justified in rejecting astrology as irrational. … Astrology simply fails to meet the multifarious demands of legitimate reasoning."
— Edward W. James[127]:34


Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity.[5]:85;[10] Where it has made falsifiable predictions under controlled conditions, they have been falsified.[10]:424 One famous experiment included 28 astrologers who were asked to match over a hundred natal charts to psychological profiles generated by the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) questionnaire.[128][129] The double-blind experimental protocol used in this study was agreed upon by a group of physicists and a group of astrologers[10] nominated by the National Council for Geocosmic Research, who advised the experimenters, helped ensure that the test was fair[9]:420;[129]:117 and helped draw the central proposition of natal astrology to be tested.[9]:419 They also chose 26 out of the 28 astrologers for the tests (two more volunteered afterwards).[9]:420 The study, published in Nature in 1985, found that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing "…clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis."[9]

In 1955, the astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin stated that though he had failed to find evidence that supported indicators like zodiacal signs and planetary aspects in astrology, he did find positive correlations between the diurnal positions of some planets and success in professions that astrology traditionally associates with those planets.[130][131] The best-known of Gauquelin's findings is based on the positions of Mars in the natal charts of successful athletes and became known as the Mars effect.[132]:213 A study conducted by seven French scientists attempted to replicate the claim, but found no statistical evidence.[132]:213–214 They attributed the effect to selective bias on Gauquelin's part, accusing him of attempting to persuade them to add or delete names from their study.[133]

Geoffrey Dean has suggested that the effect may be caused by self-reporting of birth dates by parents rather than any issue with the study by Gauquelin. The suggestion is that a small subset of the parents may have had changed birth times to be consistent with better astrological charts for a related profession. The number of births under astrologically undesirable conditions was also lower, indicating that parents choose dates and times to suit their beliefs. The sample group was taken from a time where belief in astrology was more common. Gauquelin had failed to find the Mars effect in more recent populations, where a nurse or doctor recorded the birth information.[129]:116

Dean, a scientist and former astrologer, and psychologist Ivan Kelly conducted a large scale scientific test that involved more than one hundred cognitive, behavioural, physical, and other variables—but found no support for astrology.[134][135] Furthermore, a meta-analysis pooled 40 studies that involved 700 astrologers and over 1,000 birth charts. Ten of the tests—which involved 300 participants—had the astrologers pick the correct chart interpretation out of a number of others that were not the astrologically correct chart interpretation (usually three to five others). When date and other obvious clues were removed, no significant results suggested there was any preferred chart.[135]:190
Lack of mechanisms and consistency

Testing the validity of astrology can be difficult, because there is no consensus amongst astrologers as to what astrology is or what it can predict.[5]:83 Most professional astrologers are paid to predict the future or describe a person's personality and life, but most horoscopes only make vague untestable statements that can apply to almost anyone.[5][119]:83

Many astrologers claim that astrology is scientific,[136] while some have proposed conventional causal agents such as electromagnetism and gravity.[136] Scientists reject these mechanisms as implausible[136] since, for example, the magnetic field, when measured from earth, of a large but distant planet such as Jupiter is far smaller than that produced by ordinary household appliances.[137]

Western astrology has taken the earth's axial precession (also called precession of the equinoxes) into account since Ptolemy's Almagest, so the 'first point of Aries', the start of the astrological year, continually moves against the background of the stars.[138] The tropical zodiac has no connection to the stars, and as long as no claims are made that the constellations themselves are in the associated sign, astrologers avoid the concept that precession seemingly moves the constellations.[139] Charpak and Broch, noting this, referred to astrology based on the tropical zodiac as being "…empty boxes that have nothing to do with anything and are devoid of any consistency or correspondence with the stars."[139] Sole use of the tropical zodiac is inconsistent with references made, by the same astrologers, to the Age of Aquarius, which depends on when the vernal point enters the constellation of Aquarius.[10]

Astrologers usually have only a small knowledge of astronomy, and often do not take into account basic principles—such as the precession of the equinoxes, which changes the position of the sun with time. They commented on the example of Élizabeth Teissier, who claimed that, "The sun ends up in the same place in the sky on the same date each year," as the basis for claims that two people with the same birthday, but a number of years apart, should be under the same planetary influence. Charpak and Broch noted that, "There is a difference of about twenty-two thousand miles between Earth's location on any specific date in two successive years," and that thus they should not be under the same influence according to astrology. Over a 40 years period there would be a difference greater than 780,000 miles.[139]
Western politics and society

In the West, political leaders have sometimes consulted astrologers. For example, the British intelligence agency MI5 employed Louis de Wohl as an astrologer after claims surfaced that Adolf Hitler used astrology to time his actions. The War Office was "…interested to know what Hitler's own astrologers would be telling him from week to week."[140] In fact, de Wohl's predictions were so inaccurate that he was soon labelled a "complete charlatan," and later evidence showed that Hitler considered astrology "complete nonsense."[141] After John Hinckley's attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan, first lady Nancy Reagan commissioned astrologer Joan Quigley to act as the secret White House astrologer. However, Quigley's role ended in 1988 when it became public through the memoirs of former chief of staff, Donald Regan.[142]

There was a boom in interest in astrology in the late 1960s. The sociologist Marcello Truzzi described three levels of involvement of "Astrology-believers" to account for its revived popularity in the face of scientific discrediting. He found that most astrology-believers did not claim it was a scientific explanation with predictive power. Instead, those superficially involved, knowing "next to nothing" about astrology's 'mechanics', read newspaper astrology columns, and could benefit from "tension-management of anxieties" and "a cognitive belief-system that transcends science."[143] Those at the second level usually had their horoscopes cast and sought advice and predictions. They were much younger than those at the first level, and could benefit from knowledge of the language of astrology and the resulting ability to belong to a coherent and exclusive group. Those at the third level were highly involved and usually cast horoscopes for themselves. Astrology provided this small minority of astrology-believers with a "meaningful view of their universe and [gave] them an understanding of their place in it."[b] This third group took astrology seriously, possibly as a sacred canopy, whereas the other two groups took it playfully and irreverently.[143]

In 1953, the sociologist Theodor W. Adorno conducted a study of the astrology column of a Los Angeles newspaper as part of a project examining mass culture in capitalist society.[144]:326 Adorno believed that popular astrology, as a device, invariably leads to statements that encouraged conformity—and that astrologers who go against conformity, by discouraging performance at work etc., risk losing their jobs.[144]:327 Adorno concluded that astrology is a large-scale manifestation of systematic irrationalism, where individuals are subtly led—through flattery and vague generalisations—to believe that the author of the column is addressing them directly.[145] Adorno drew a parallel with the phrase opium of the people, by Karl Marx, by commenting, "occultism is the metaphysic of the dopes."[144]:329

A 2005 Gallup poll and a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that 25% of US adults believe in astrology.[146][147] According to data released in the National Science Foundation's 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators study, "Fewer Americans rejected astrology in 2012 than in recent years."[148] The NSF study noted that in 2012, "slightly more than half of Americans said that astrology was 'not at all scientific,' whereas nearly two-thirds gave this response in 2010. The comparable percentage has not been this low since 1983."[148]
The Catechism of the Catholic Church maintains that divination, including predictive astrology, is incompatible with modern Catholic beliefs[112] such as free will:[106]

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.[113]
— Catechism of the Catholic Church
The fourteenth-century English poets John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer both referred to astrology in their works, including Gower's Confessio Amantis and Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.[159] Chaucer commented explicitly on astrology in his Treatise on the Astrolabe, demonstrating personal knowledge of one area, judicial astrology, with an account of how to find the ascendant or rising sign.[160]

In the fifteenth century, references to astrology, such as with similes, became "a matter of course" in English literature.[159]

In the sixteenth century, John Lyly's 1597 play, The Woman in the Moon, is wholly motivated by astrology,[161] while Christopher Marlowe makes astrological references in his plays Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine (both c. 1590),[161] and Sir Philip Sidney refers to astrology at least four times in his romance The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (c. 1580).[161] Edmund Spenser uses astrology both decoratively and causally in his poetry, revealing "…unmistakably an abiding interest in the art, an interest shared by a large number of his contemporaries."[161] George Chapman's play, Byron's Conspiracy (1608), similarly uses astrology as a causal mechanism in the drama.[162] William Shakespeare's attitude towards astrology is unclear, with contradictory references in plays including King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and Richard II.[162] Shakespeare was familiar with astrology and made use of his knowledge of astrology in nearly every play he wrote,[162] assuming a basic familiarity with the subject in his commercial audience.[162] Outside theatre, the physician and mystic Robert Fludd practised astrology, as did the quack doctor Simon Forman.[162] In Elizabethan England, "The usual feeling about astrology … [was] that it is the most useful of the sciences."[162]
Title page of Calderón de la Barca's Astrologo Fingido, Madrid, 1641

In seventeenth century Spain, Lope de Vega, with a detailed knowledge of astronomy, wrote plays that ridicule astrology. In his pastoral romance La Arcadia (1598), it leads to absurdity; in his novela Guzman el Bravo (1624), he concludes that the stars were made for man, not man for the stars.[163] Calderón de la Barca wrote the 1641 comedy Astrologo Fingido (The Pretended Astrologer); the plot was borrowed by the French playwright Thomas Corneille for his 1651 comedy Feint Astrologue.[164]

The most famous piece of music influenced by astrology is the orchestral suite The Planets. Written by the British composer Gustav Holst (1874–1934), and first performed in 1918, the framework of The Planets is based upon the astrological symbolism of the planets.[165] Each of the seven movements of the suite is based upon a different planet, though the movements are not in the order of the planets from the Sun. The composer Colin Matthews wrote an eighth movement entitled Pluto, the Renewer, first performed in 2000.[166] In 1937, another British composer, Constant Lambert, wrote a ballet on astrological themes, called Horoscope.[167] In 1974, the New Zealand composer Edwin Carr wrote The Twelve Signs: An Astrological Entertainment for orchestra without strings.[168] Camille Paglia acknowledges astrology as an influence on her work of literary criticism Sexual Personae (1990).[169]

Astrology features strongly in Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, recipient of the 2013 Man Booker Prize.[170],ON

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