Two modern rescue boats from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (Sjöräddningssällskapet , SSRS), a Swedish voluntary organization, have strengthened the capacity of HRT Samos and the operational capacity of the Coast Guard of the island, in order to prevent loss of human lives in the island’s sea area.
The two vessels arrived in Samos on Saturday and are about to be immediately included in the operational planning of the Coast Guard, in order to assist in sea search and rescue operations. The 12-meter vessels bring all the necessary rescue equipment and have a capacity of 16 people. They are staffed by experienced and trained crews from Sweden, who are already in Samos. Meanwhile, volunteers - rescuers of HRT Samos will be taken on board, as their experience from the many operations which have taken place in the area, is crucial for the effective assistance of the Swedish vessels. The SSRS will remain on the island for at least six months.
The presence of the Swedish vessels on Samos came as a result of the cooperation between the Hellenic Rescue Team and the SSRS and the visit of two SSRS members in Greece three weeks ago. During the time they remained in Greece, they visited Samos and Lesbos, where together with members of the Central Administration of HRT and other HRT members they visited local authorities and witnessed first hand the tragic circumstances of thousands of refugees and shipwrecks, in which dozens of lives are being destroyed. Following a formal request by HRT to the Ministry of Shipping for the assistance of SSRS and approval for their inclusion in the operational planning of the Coast Guard in Samos, Swedish rescuers arrived promptly in Greece, ready to assist the situation with the refugees.