Tropical Geography ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (7): 1138-1147.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003512

Previous Articles    

Difficulty Assessment of Maritime Search and Rescue in the South China Sea

Xiaoyi Zuo1(), Liang Cheng1,2,3,4(), Sensen Chu1, Jie Wu1, Xuedong Zhang1   

  1. 1.Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Key Laboratory for Land Satellite Remote Sensing Applications of Ministry of Natural Resources, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2.Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing 210023, China
    3.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
    4.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Novel Software Technology and Industrialization, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2021-03-24 Revised:2021-09-19 Online:2022-07-05 Published:2022-07-23
  • Contact: Liang Cheng;


To ensure maritime search and rescue safety, this study combined a geographic information system and a fuzzy analytic hierarchy process to map and evaluate the difficulties of maritime search and rescue in the South China Sea. To construct a maritime search and rescue difficulty index system, nine factors related to the natural environment and human power that may influence maritime search and rescue were selected, and difficulty indices were calculated according to the corresponding calculation method. The fuzzy analytic hierarchy process was then used to determine the weight of each index, and the linear weighting method was used to obtain the maritime search and rescue difficulty value of the South China Sea. The difficulty values were divided into 10 levels and the spatial distribution characteristics were analyzed. The results show that: 1) under the influence of the natural environment, the difficulty of search and rescue in the sea area of the South China Sea had the characteristics of a V-shaped distribution, and the difficulty level gradually decreased from northeast to southwest. 2) Under the influence of humanistic search and rescue forces, the overall difficulty of search and rescue in the study area was the "NE-SW belt" type. The area with high difficulty levels was mainly located on the line connecting the northeast to the southwest of the study area, and the difficulty decreased in an irregular circle on both sides of the connecting line. 3) Considering these two factors, the difficulty of search and rescue was relatively high around some islands in the South China Sea, because of the influence of severe weather events, such as typhoons, and their large distance from the search and rescue base. The difficulty values in the far seas have "NE-SW decreasing" spatial distribution pattern, with the highest values in the areas extending from the northeast to the southwest of the study area, then decreasing to the northwest and southeast. According to statistics, approximately 21.1% of the sea areas in the South China Sea have search and rescue difficulties greater than level 6, and the construction of search and rescue forces should be optimized accordingly.

Key words: South China Sea, maritime search and rescue, difficulty assessment, fuzzy analytic hierarchy process, natural environment, humanistic search and rescue force

CLC Number: 

  • U676.83