The crew of Lundy Sentinel – one of Sentinel Marine’s fleet of state-of-the-art emergency response and rescue vessels which is currently chartered by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) – joined forces with coast guard organisations for a major multi-purpose maritime operations exercise.
Coastex 19 saw Lundy Sentinel work alongside other organisations´ assets including those of the Italian Coastguard, Guardia di Finanza, Italian Navy, German police and Portuguese Coastguard in a one-day simulated exercise.
EFCA, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) - the EU agencies supporting national authorities carrying out coast guard functions, were also involved in the operation, which took place off the coast of Sicily.
The exercise started out with a fishing boat inspection – the type of occurrence that Lundy Sentinel is involved in on a day-to-day basis in its work with the EFCA – which then escalated into a security incident.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, the scenario then moved up a gear with an oil spill being thrown into the mix.
Sentinel Marine managing director Jonathan Mitchell said it was an action-packed day which was very worthwhile in helping to develop the skills and capabilities of all those involved.
He said: “We were delighted to have one of our vessels involved in this incredibly important and high-profile exercise.
“Lundy Sentinel is used as a platform for the monitoring, boarding and inspection of fishing boats as well as associated transport and support vessels, and while the vast majority of its tasks will be incident-free, it is very important that the crew is prepared and trained to deal with any possible scenario.
“Coastex 19 provided a very memorable day for the crew whose dedication to training and safety helped demonstrate the multi-role ability of Lundy Sentinel.”
Lundy Sentinel is mainly deployed in EU and international waters, from the Mediterranean and Black Sea to the North Sea and Baltic Sea, as part of EFCA´s joint deployment plans and other operations.
She can also be used for other operations besides fisheries control, in the framework of the European coastguard cooperation, including search and rescue, border control, disruption of trafficking routes, detection of criminal activities and enforcement of EU and national legislations.
Lundy Sentinel is one of a current fleet of nine ERRVs operated by Sentinel Marine, with others deployed to operations supporting the oil and gas industry in the North Sea.