Greek Search and Rescue Services Boosted
A new lifeboat station has been opened on the Greek island of Chios – with the co-operation of International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) members – to help support the rescue of migrants in the Aegean.
He explained that IMRF exists to help prevent loss of life in the world’s waters, so when the member organisation, the Hellenic Rescue Team, came to last year’s World Maritime Rescue Congress and tabled a request for help, their call was answered by IMRF members.
“They explained the pressures on the maritime rescue services and the coastal communities in Greece trying to cope with the thousands of people risking their lives to cross the waters of the Aegean,” he said.
KNRM Director Jos Stierhout said: “This is a festive day for Chios. Not one, but two lifeboats will be added to the Chios fleet with a traditional ceremony; two lifeboats that would not have been here if it had not been for the dramatic events here on the Aegean Sea.”
Mr Stierhout said the KNRM had been set up by volunteers as a result of maritime tragedies. “Today, too, a tragedy is the cause of the formation of new rescue stations. For us, rescue at sea is not a political debate. It is not optional. Rescuing people is a duty.
“International rescue institutions from Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands have made a joint effort to come to the rescue.”