Operation Atalanta Flagship ESPS Galicia Assists EUCAP Nestor in Support of Seychelles Security Forces Training ExerciseJune 23, 2015 - 11:19
On Friday 19 June 2015, during her visit to Mahé, Operational Atalanta flagship, ESPS Galicia, in support of EU sister mission, EUCAP Nestor, and the Seychellois security agencies, conducted a training exercise that implemented the Seychelles national contingency plan for anti-pollution, search and rescue and fire fighting.
The exercise scenario included the Maritime Operations Centre run by the Seychelles Coast Guard deploying speedboats and a patrol vessel in response to a collision between an oil tanker and a ferry. The Seychelles Air Force deployed an aircraft to monitor the situation and provide search and rescue assistance to crew members who were in the water. The Seychelles Port Authority sent a tug boat with floating booms to contain the ‘exercise’ spill and the Fire and Rescue Service deployed fire fighters to put out the fire.
ESPS Galicia was operating in the vicinity and responded by deploying its helicopter to conduct search and rescue, whilst its onboard medical facilities was used to treat the sick and wounded. The multi-agency exercise was an opportunity to enhance communication and coordination amongst all local stakeholders with international partners, in responding to a contingency.
Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Dine said “Being able to deal rapidly with any oil spill is extremely important for the Seychelles,” “Our pristine maritime environment and shoreline are the main attraction for the many tourists that visit our shores. Our tourism industry, an integral part of our blue economy, must be protected from pollution.”
An EUCAP Nestor Coast Guard expert added “This exercise is part of a cycle of activities that EUCAP Nestor and Operation Atalanta have conducted together with the Seychelles Maritime Authorities for the purpose of enhancing the maritime capability of the country. I’m proud to observe that the exercise has shown improvement in our counterpart’s capability.”
Force Commander of Operation Atalanta, Rear Admiral Gomez de Cordoba of the Spanish Navy said “This exercise has been an incredible opportunity to contribute to the development of the Seychelles Coast Guard capabilities. I am proud to observe how the Coast Guard has increased their capacity to respond to an incident of such magnitude. One of the main tasks of the Operation Atalanta units is to collaborate with other European Union agencies, such as EUCAP Nestor, and we are glad to work once again with them in trying to improve capabilities of countries in the Indian Ocean”.
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