When someone goes missing on a mountain, in a forest, at sea or in any difficult-to-reach area, search and rescue teams head out to help when no one else can …
Every time someone needs rescuing, whether they have had an accident, got lost in the forests, got into difficulties in the mountains or there is a natural disaster, the local news stations show images of a team of people combing the forests or scrambling down mountains with ropes and stretchers and, sometimes, there’s even a helicopter hovering overhead, waiting to airlift the rescued person(s) to safety.
It’s a very brief insight into the world of search and rescue (SAR) teams and is generally about all the general public ever sees.
In reality, SAR goes way beyond these glimpses on the news – it’s an extensive emergency service performed by highly trained specialists, local law enforcement and civilian volunteers.
Search and rescue (SAR) is an operation mounted by emergency services and well-trained volunteers to find someone believed to be in distress; usually lost, sick or injured in a remote or difficult-to-access area, such as mountains, forests, or at sea.
Local search and rescue teams are called out on a regular basis to “find and rescue” people who are lost, have injured themselves and worse.
Whilst we acknowledge and thanks SAR teams everywhere, today we are going to take a closer look at AKUT Arama Kurtarma Derneği (Search and Rescue Association) which has a branch in Fethiye and is very active in search and rescue operations in the area.
AKUT Search and Rescue Association
AKUT is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation involved in searching, assisting and rescuing all who require help in mountain or other nature-related accidents, natural disasters and emergency situations.
AKUT was first formed in the aftermath of a mountaineering accident that occurred in 1994 in the Bolkar Mountains involving two local climbers. In December 1995, a group of volunteer mountaineers led by Nasuh Mahruki conducted their first organized mission on Mt. Uludağ, and rescued people who were lost in the fog and heavy snowfall.
The organisation was officially established at the beginning of 1996. During the following year, the members received earthquake and flood training which qualified the organisation to work alongside official agencies during natural disaster relief efforts.
AKUT became widely known after it quickly reacted to the 1999 İzmit earthquake, working with its 150 permanent members and coordinating over 1,000 helpers. Around 200 people were rescued from the debris as a result of this effort.
In 1999, the organization became a member of United Nations’ Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). AKUT was officially recognized in 2011 as a “mid-sized search and rescue team” by INSARAG.
AKUT undertook international missions following the 1999 Athens earthquake in Greece, the 1999 Taiwan earthquake, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India and the 2003 Bam earthquake in Iran.
AKUT now is the #1 search and rescue organisation in Türkiye, with the largest number of highly-trained members and the broadest variety of specialised skills. Not only does it have over 250 permanent members and another 2000 volunteer members, but it also owns state-of-the-art technology that can be mobilised in an instant.
AKUT also runs projects and exercises to increase search and rescue competency in Turkish society. The local branches across 32 provinces in Türkiye are on call 24/7 ensuring AKUT is always standing by.
AKUT is a self-funding, non-profit organisation and is completely reliant on donations and sponsorship that allows them to continue the work they do as a specialist rescue team. Without them, there would be far more unfortunate outcomes to incidents.
We’ve established that AKUT runs on donations so how can you help?
You can choose to donate using one of three different methods. Click on this link to make a donation:
For more information about AKUT visit:
Don’t forget, one day it could be one of us in need of AKUT’s services!