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D2.3.1.1 Maritime Operational Services CETLE 15July09.pdf
D2.3.1.1 Maritime Operational Services CETLE 15July09.pdf

D. Jarvis - CETLE

This study considers the ability for shore-based authorities to be able to monitor and provide the appropriate level of assistance wherever the ship may be located in the coastal waters, through an innovative use of resources and technologies.

Taking Search and Rescue (SAR), Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC), Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) and flag State responsibilities, this study considers shifting the emphasis from remedial services towards proactive services and thereby the provision of Pro-active Vessel Traffic Management (VTM).

A detailed review is conducted of proposals to put an end to present fragmentation of measures in place where resources, systems and services are organised and strengthened into one coherent set of measures through the introduction of Maritime Operational Services (MOS).


The MOS concept, as developed within the EC funded project MarNIS, provides for routine, enforcement, preventive, and remedial services in the search and rescue area in the form of monitoring and the co-ordination and provision of response services.  MOS promotes proactive services to avoid incidents not only developing but also occurring in the first place. Functions such as SAR, VTS, enforcement, oil pollution response, risk determination, use of places of refuge through the use of temporary Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) and sending Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV) are combined in a MOS centre; people responsible for one or more of these tasks can share the same information and equipment and co-operate in performing their tasks.


The MOS concept foresees a number of existing services aimed primarily towards maritime safety and the protection of the environment provided by flag and coastal States being placed under one (virtual) roof.


This study compares current practice, planned/drafted amendments and concepts having the potential to increase the effectiveness of existing services and provisions, as well as provide added value through new (or enhanced) services and provisions. This includes the individual services as identified above and argues for the additional benefit of placing these services under one (virtual) roof.


Central to this is the capability and availability of means to identify, communicate with, track and trace vessels sailing in EU waters and thereby facilitate a pro-active approach to vessel traffic monitoring in all EU waters.


An important aspect is the sharing of existing infrastructure and/or resources by authorities other than the “traditional” maritime authorities, such as Customs, Immigration and Health.

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   Glossary Terms


Maritime Assistance Services (MAS)
IMO Resolution A.950(23) Maritime Assistance Services (MAS) sets out the recommendations for MAS, the principal purposes of which are to receive the various reports, consultations and notifications required in a number of IMO instruments; monitoring a ship's situation if such a report indicates that an incident may give rise to a situation whereby the ship may be in need of assistance; serving as the point of contact if the ship's situation is not a distress situation but nevertheless requires exchanges of information between the ship and the coastal State, and for serving as the point of contact between those involved in a marine salvage operation undertaken by private facilities if the coastal State considers that it should monitor all phases of the operation.
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Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC)
The International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC), 1990 sets out the requirement to establish measures for dealing with pollution incidents, either nationally or in co-operation with other countries.
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Place of Refuge
This is a place where a vessel in need of assistance can be assisted to take action to enable it to stabilize its condition and reduce hazards to navigation, and to protect human life and the environment.
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SAR - Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue (SAR) comprises the search for, and provision of aid to, persons who are, or who are feared to be, in distress. The International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue 1979 (SAR Convention) provides for international agreement on the provision of SAR services including entering into SAR agreements with neighbouring States, establishment of common (operating) procedures and preparatory measures such as rescue coordination centres/sub-centres.
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  IMO - Search and Rescue
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