Search and rescue operations are often characterized by the need to search for a relatively small craft (airplane or boat), and the search may have to consider a large area when emergency location beacons have failed. The ability to locate the crash site quickly is critical to any survivors: their probability of survival decreases rapidly following the accident. Ground and airborne search and rescue operations can be hampered by inclement weather or the size or remoteness of the area to be searched. Synthetic aperture radar satellites, with the ability to image large swaths of the earth's surface through any weather condition, may offer valuable assistance. RADARSAT-2, to be launched in February, 2002, will provide users with advanced SAR imagery, having fully polarimetric modes and resolutions as fine as 3 meters. In this paper, the suitability of synthetic aperture radar satellites for support of search and rescue operations is analyzed, specifically considering the capabilities of Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite.