EU shipowners thank the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre for its efforts in search and rescue operations
Migratory challenges remain one of the main security concerns of EU shipowners, as discussed by security experts who gathered recently in Rome. The meeting of ECSA’s Maritime Security Working Group was hosted by Confitarma, the Italian shipowners’ association, and joined by representatives from the European Commission and Frontex.
Discussion took place on challenges faced by the merchant fleet due to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. Mr Vytautas Lukas from Frontex provided statistics that RomeMRCC finalshowed very clearly that the impact of the EU-Turkey agreement was immediately felt on the ground, with a significant decrease of arrivals from Turkey to Greece/. Recently more crossings were witnessed via the longer sea-connection towards Italy from Libya and especially from Egypt.
There is a rise in crossings originating in Libya and Egypt confirmed also the Italian Coast Guard.
The ECSA Maritime Security Working Group had the chance to visit the Rome Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). It is the most crucial player in terms of Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations in the Mediterranean Sea close to Libya and in 2015 managed 8 000 emergency calls for more than 930 SAR cases related to migrant flows, saving over 41 000 people.