[Job opening] OPERATIONS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (on board Ocean Viking and onshore)


SOS MEDITERRANEE is a civil European Search and Rescue (SAR) association founded in 2015. In the face of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in the central Mediterranean and the lack of adequate European search and rescue services, a group of European citizens created this maritime and humanitarian association with three dedicated mandates: Rescue people in distress at sea; Protect the survivors, and Testify to the realities of migration in this stretch of the sea, which became the world deadliest sea migration route since 2014.

Today, SOS MEDITERRANEE is a network composed of four national associations (Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland). Search and Rescue operations have been carried out since February 2016 with the chartered ships Aquarius and Ocean Viking. To date, over 35.500 people have been rescued and assisted by SOS MEDITERRANEE.


SOS MEDITERRANEE is recruiting a Communications Officer working both onboard Ocean Viking and in HQ, for the Operations department.

Onboard, the Communications Officer (CO) is part of the SOS MEDITERRANEE team aboard the rescue vessel Ocean Viking. S/he is responsible for SOS MEDITERRANEE’s operational communications. Under the supervision of the operations communications manager, the CO implements SOS MEDITERRANEE’s communications strategy and produces internal and external communications content for the Operations’ Department and for the SOS MEDITERRANEE’s national associations. Onboard, the CO also has a management role of SOS MEDITERRANEE onboard photo/videographers, and s/he is responsible of embedded journalists. The CO is also in charge of data and testimony collection.

When working on land, the CO supports the content creation onboard, coordinates the dissemination of the material with the organisation’s network, and has a coordination role of the SOS MEDITERRANEE communications’ network.

The Communications Officer will rotate missions at sea with two other communications officers. S/he will alternate missions at sea, compensation time-off and onshore work in the Operations department in HQ (in Marseille, France if possible, or through remote working).

Working language on board and within the organization is English.


Under the supervision of the Operations Communications Manager, and in close collaboration with all
team members, the main responsibilities of the Operations Communications Officer are to:


  • Functions as primary contact person on board the Ocean Viking for SOS MEDITERRANEE’s
    Communications Headquarters (represented by the Operations Communications Manager).
  • Provides regular content to be used externally (social media content, photo, video, text).
  • Conducts interviews with rescued individuals on board . Ensures that these interviews follow strict ethical standards ( i.e., informed consent, anonymity, “do no harm” as main guiding principle).
  • Provides regular and fast internal updates on the situation on board , on rescue operations and
    on the context of operations from the ship.
  • Is the main contact on board for external media regarding SOS MEDITERRANEE’s search and
    rescue operations . The CO can also function as spokesperson if requested by the Operations
    Communications Manager.
  • Collects data for advocacy purposes
  • Manages SOS MEDITERRANEE photo/videographer
  • Responsible of the embedded journalists.
  • Organizes and gives media and context trainings to the team
  • Coordinates with our post rescue care partner the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (communications focal point)
  • Actively supports ongoing rescue operations when needed . Acts as a “shadow” for the medical
    team during “Mass Casualty Plans”. Act as a SAR team support onboard rescue boats in critical
  • Actively supports post rescue care when needed. Does deck watches when survivors are onboard
    (distribution of food, cleaning of the ship etc.)


  • Produces and shares internal communications: drafts daily updates, weekly operations
    newsletter; monitors news/social media/context , communication lines
  • Produces external communications: drafts social media content, press releases, organizes
    interviews with spokespersons, writes context updates, interviews SOS MEDITERRANEE onshore
    team members
  • Participates in medium and long term projects
  • Works in collaboration with the advocacy department in the development of reports and case
  • Assists and guides the communication officer onboard
  • Supports the Communications manager in coordinating with the SOS MEDITERRANEE network
    and the IFRC.
  • Develops and maintains a pool of SOS M EDITERRANEE photographers.
  • Responsible of international media relations and coordinates the embarkation of journalists
    onboard with SOS MEDITERRANEE’s network and our partner IFRC


  • Master’s degree in journalism and/or communications and/or political science.
  • Substantial experience in the field of media/communications.
  • Experience in team coordination.
  • Experience in data collection and in interview with people in situation of vulnerability.
  • Previous field experience with a humanitarian organization and/or with maritime organizations.
  • Extensive knowledge of the geopolitical context of search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean.
  • Previous experience in internal communications.
  • Good command of social media.
  • Ability to produce photo and video material on board. Video editing is a plus.
  • Excellent writing and language skills.
  • Excellent command of the English language, written and spoken.
  • Good command of French, German, Italian or Arabic is an asset.
  • Ability to cope with stress and work in an environment where team security is a top priority.
  • Teamwork, flexibility, and adaptability. Detail-oriented.
  • Empathic and able to adapt to stressful and constantly evolving situations. Willing to help out in case of an emergency and where possible with day-to-day jobs when necessary.
  • Committed to the vision, mission, and values of SOS MEDITERRANEE.
  • Candidates must have work authorization in France or Europe.

Terms of contract:

  • Contract: 6-month contract (renewable).
  • Starting as soon as possible.
  • Position based on board the Ocean Viking for around 3-6 weeks and in SOS MEDITERRANEE’s Operations Headquarters in Marseille, France. Possibility of teleworking when onshore.
  • Evenings and week-end work.

Annual gross salary: according to SOS MEDITERRANEE’s salary grids and to the candidate’s professional experience.

SOS MEDITERRANEE covers travel expenses from/to Ocean Viking (public transportation and plane).
SOS MEDITERRANEE covers costs on board.

Please send your application (CV and cover letter) in English no later than 02 August 2022 via email to recrutementsosmedfr@sosmediterranee.org and indicate “Application COMS Officer – OPS” as the subject of the email. Kindly note that no information will be given by telephone.

When you apply for a job, we collect and store your personal data within our recruitment department for the administrative management of applications and the recruitment process. The purpose of the information requested as a candidate for employment is to assess the professional qualities and skills of your application, to the exclusion of any other purpose. The legal basis for this processing is to obtain your consent and for pre- contractual measures for the employment contract. If your application is successful, this data will be kept for the duration of your contract. If your application is not successful, this data will be deleted immediately unless you advise us otherwise. In accordance with the French Data Protection Act of 6 January 1978 and European regulations, you may access your personal data, rectify it, request its deletion or exercise your right to limit the processing of your data. You can request more information and exercise your rights at any time by contacting SOS MEDITERRANEE – France CS 20585 // 13205 Marseille Cedex 01 – France. rgpd.fr@sosmediterranee.org