05. März 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Libysche Küstenwache, EUBAM: Elektronische Algorithmen für Flüchtingsjagd · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: , , ,

Coastguard Search and Rescue skills boosted by training

The Libyan Naval Coastguard learnt how to use highly-advanced software to find vessels lost at sea

The Libyan Naval Coastguard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) skills have been  boosted by training on modern computerised methods to find vessels stranded at  sea.

The training, organised by the EU Border Assistance Mission to Libya (EUBAM  Libya) focused, in particular, on mission coordination during SAR  operations.

“Today’s exercise is about a search for a stranded fishing vessel. We know  that the first search was not successful so we need to engage in a subsequent  search”, EUBAM’s senior Naval Coastguard expert Emmanuel Mallia told the class.  He added that two aircraft were also searching the boat.

The six senior Coastguard officers attending the training then had to engage  in mathematical calculations on weather and sea conditions using highly-advanced  software. This software is used in the US and several Mediterranean countries to  help locate vessels lost at sea.

The Libyan officers had to put all available information into the computer to  give the best chance of tracking down the boat. They knew the type of vessel – a  fishing boat – and weather information for the 48 hours before the incident  occurred. Based on this input, the computer then calculated average wind speeds  and sea currents, with the results appearing on the screen as the officers  typed.

“To do the same thing manually takes three hours of solid calculations,  provided you are very good at maths,” Mallia said. He added that if any  variables changed, the calculations would have to be done all over again.

“The software we are teaching our Libyan colleagues how to use allows them to  make the best possible use of all the assets they have,” he said.

“This training has made us aware of the importance of coordination in SAR  operations,” said 50 year-old Lieutenant Commander Enuri Tantush. He has been in  the Naval coastguard for the last 10 years and before that he spent 20 years in  the Navy.

“We frequently receive distress calls from illegal migrants and, in most  cases, the search is difficult,” he said. “We lack telecommunications to lead  operations and often we have to rely on fishing boats for help, but they are  slow so we are sometimes too late.”

Tantush said that this meant the Coastguard sometimes found just dead bodies.  “We often carry these onto dry land using our own personal things, handling  bodies with our bare hands and possibly exposing ourselves to danger,” he  added.

Tantush recalled one incident, in 2010, that haunts him to this day. “We  received a distress call from a sinking boat with about 100 people on board and  we managed to save 90 of them,” he said. “There was a woman who ripped her  clothes to tie her two year-old child to her body but neither of them survived,”  he said, adding that if the Coastguard had arrived on the scene earlier, the  mother and child might had been saved.

The EUBAM course was based on international standards as defined in the  International Aeronautical and Maritime SAR Manual of the International Maritime  Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation.

This also defines how a SAR organisation should be structured, and outlines  all the panning and execution processes of maritime SAR planning. Based on this,  EUBAM has produced an advisory paper on the restructuring of the Libyan SAR  organisation.

The EUBAM Libya mission started in May 2013, at the request of the Libyan  government. The mission supports the Libyan authorities in developing border  management and security at the country’s land, sea and air borders.

Read more: http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/03/05

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