Discover Ocean-SaR

OCEAN-SAR is a service provided to support maritime authorities and operational centers during search-and-rescue operations. Using OCEAN-SAR to simulate the possible trajectories of persons or objects lost at sea allows a better prioritisation of the search areas and increases the chance of a successful rescue.

OCEAN-SAR is based on the Leeway model. More information about the algorithms behind OCEAN-SAR can be found in the following publications:

  • Allen, A A, 2005: Leeway divergence, Technical Report CG-D-05-05, US Coast Guard Research and Development Center, 1082 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT, USA
  • Allen, A A and JV Plourde, 1999: Review of Leeway: Field Experiments and Implementation, Technical Report CG-D-08-99, US Coast Guard Research and Development Center, 1082 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT, USA
  • Breivik, Ø and A A Allen, 2008: "An Operational Search and Rescue Model for the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea", J. Marine Sys., 69(1-2), 99-113
  • Elena Y. Shchekinova, Yogesh Kumkar & Giovanni Coppini: "Numerical reconstruction of trajectory of small-size surface drifter in the Mediterranean sea", Ocean Dynamics (2016) 66:153–161 DOI 10.1007/s10236-015-0916-9

Given a user-defined position and time of an accident, OCEAN-SAR uses the leeway object parameterisation and the uncertainties on the input parameters to perform a stochastic simulation of a large set of sea drifter trajectories. For the simulation of wind and sea currents, it can use historical data, short term forecasts (1-5 days) as well as long-term predictions. OCEAN-SAR produces maps of high-probability search areas and the most probable drift trajectory.

OCEAN-SAR is a product of the TESSA project, created by: 

  • Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), responsible for the research activity, the computation of the search areas and the most probable drift trajectory
  • Links S.p.A., responsible for the deployment of the DSS on the web

Weather forecasts are based on observations and forecasts produced and certified by the Meteorological Service of the Italian Air Force (


Ocean products are produced by the Copernicus Marine Service (