After touch-basing the situation during the summer, Sea-Watch personnel settled on the island since the end of October to start liaising with authorities, local and international organization present on site and other relevant stakeholders.
Last week the main operational tool of the mission reach the island. It is a SAR-equipped, 7 meters long tender. The RIB will host 4 crew members at a time, including a nautical expert, a doctor or paramedic, a technician and a journalist. This kind of boat will enable the Sea-Watch volunteers to patrol the 5 miles trait of sea separating Greece and Turkey and to provide first assistance to people in distress.
All operations will be carried out in collaboration with the Greek Coast Guard. The Turkish Coast Guard would be also alerted any time the Sea-Watch tender would enter the territorial waters of Turkey. The Sea-Wacth Mission Coordinator Philipp Hahn met the local Coast Guard commander in Mitilini, the capital of Lesvos, and in Mithimna, the operational basis of Sea-Wacth, in the Northern coast of the island.
Meanwhile, the Sea-Watch Legal Team travelled to Ankara and Athens to establish contact with the Greek and Turkish Coast Guard in their respesctive headquarters. The objective is to gather information on the relevant legal and operational framework and risks, as well as to ensure the best collaboration. On Tuesday, the Sea-Watch lawyers will meet in particular with JRCC Pireaus, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre specifically devoted to SAR operations in the Aegean Sea.
After the preparatory meetings and having set the stage by establishing its presence on the island and getting the necessary personnel and equipment, Sea-Watch is ready to start the activity at sea.
This opens the operational phase of the new mission of Sea-Watch in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
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