EFCA’s chartered patrol vessel, the Lundy Sentinel, was equipped yesterday with pollution response equipment provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and has subsequently carried out an oil pollution drill in the bay of Vigo. The EFCA’s operational team and the vessel crew are made familiar with this new functionality. As a result, EFCA’s patrol vessel is ready to support Member States for pollution response operations and will be added to EMSA’s network of stand-by oil spill response vessels. In the event of an oil spill and considering their position and the characteristics of the event, the Lundy Sentinel could be made available to the requesting Member States, using the existing mobilisation procedure of EMSA.
This operation follows the signature of an amendment to the current service level agreement between EMSA and EFCA, extending cooperation between the two agencies into new areas. The agreement now includes the possibility for EFCA activities to be supported by EMSA with Remotely Piloted Aircraft System-based services as well as the provision of antipollution material for the EFCA chartered vessel and its inclusion in the network of standby oil spill response vessels.
This cooperation between EFCA and EMSA takes place in the framework of the EU Coast Guard cooperation in which the two agencies, together with Frontex, support the national authorities carrying out coast guard functions.