Donated rescue boats will save refugees in Greece

IMRF Members are helping to transform the Hellenic Rescue Team into a new and professional maritime SAR organisation IMRF Members are helping to transform the Hellenic Rescue Team into a new and professional maritime SAR organisation

The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) has donated two rescue boats to the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) which are helping to rescue stranded refugees crossing the Aegean.

Rescue boats Zeta and Chiara were donated to support HRT’s rescue station in delivering search and rescue missions at sea, in order to save refugees crossing the Aegean.

Since the first vessel went into operation in April 2017, the small, but enthusiastic, group of HRT volunteers have performed 17 rescue missions, under the command of the Coastguard, and have helped more than 200 people to reach the shore safely.

“When we first came to Greece two years ago, we saw ordinary people doing something extraordinary”, said Udo Fox, chairman of the International Maritime Rescue federation (IMRF) and CEO of DGzRS.

“We saw a country suffering from an economic crisis, facing a humanitarian crisis of such a dimension. Nobody would think this could happen in Europe. Reading the news, or watching TV, is one thing. Being personally involved is a totally different story. We were impressed by the altruistic attitude that Greece widely showed.”

Safety training

The donation of Zeta and Chiara was followed by a six-month training programme provided by DGzRS trainers, who visited Kos once a month and provided three-day training sessions on boat operation, navigation, towing and more.

Mr Fox added that the support is not over yet. In 2018, DGzRS will invite HRT to its simulator training centre in Bremen for state of the art training on SAR operations planning, coordination and conduct in compliance with international standards of the IMO and the IMRF.

Since 2015, when the refugee crisis reached its peak in Greece, HRT has been offered 13 rescue boats and two rescue runners from IMRF members in Europe (RS, SSRS, KNRM, RNLI and DGzRS) to enhance its operating capability at sea. However, the assistance was not limited to boats.

IMRF Members have been providing training courses, rescue equipment and mentoring to the volunteers and staff of HRT, transforming the operation into a new and professional maritime SAR organisation.

By Anne-Marie Causer

Latest Press Releases


Expanding its global presence, MyTaskit has signed its first international reseller. Auckland, New Z... Read more

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier Jack-up Brave Tern completes major crane refit at Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam

Brave Tern, the 132-metre jack-up operated by Fred. Olsen Windcarrier AS, has completed a major cran... Read more

Damen Marine Components to supply Chilean Navy for ANTARCTIC I project

Damen Marine Components has won a contract to supply steering gear, rudders and stern tube parts for... Read more

Damen Verolme Rotterdam wins refit contract for drilling rig Stena Don

Damen Verolme Rotterdam (DVR), one of Damen Shipyards Group’s most experienced yards in the repair a... Read more

Industry insights with Lloyd’s Maritime Academy:

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS WITH LLOYD’S MARITIME ACADEMY: What's next for the shipping industry? Read more

Damen signs with VTS Vasiliko Terminal Services for ASD Tug 2310

On 24th July, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with Cyprus-based VTS Vasiliko Terminal Servic... Read more

View all