Vessel documentation & information and Search and Rescue (SAR), are the two most important factors for securing ports all over the world. For one thing, there are un-licensed or illegal vessels that dock at ports and change their vessel ID and information by putting fake names or flags on their vessel, while carrying illegal material or illegal fishing. Secondly, many tragedies occur due to lack of understanding and appliance on how to conduct SAR. Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) indemnifies the security of all the aspects related to marine resource and activities.
Last month, practical and theoretical training on vessel documentation & information as well as SAR, kicked off in the coastal town of Berbera, where EUCAP mentors and EUNAVFOR trained 15 participants from the Somaliland Coast Guard (SLCG).
“I think it is incredibly important to underline the civilian aspect of the SLCG – as a maritime law enforcement agency operating under civilian oversight and the newly adopted SLCG law,” said Georg Guentelberg, Head of Field Office Hargeisa and Senior Maritime Adviser. “Training on the ship is about how to handle ‘vessel documentation & information’ and ‘boarding in a non-hostile environment’. This will help the SLCG develop their role in supporting the safety and security around Berbera Port – exercising normal control of the vessels entering Berbera Port,” Guentelberg added.
In addition, there was on-going training for SAR at sea in Berbera, where the participants trained on how to search vessels using the navigation route map of the boat for guidance of the operations room on the base.
SLCG were also trained on how to rescue a person or vessel drawn out to sea. During the exercise Somaliland officers showed understanding of rescuing and are well equipped to take the next step needed to increase the SAR capability.
The ultimate goal is to have a safe and secure environment that guarantees the security of all people and vessels entering the port, as well to ensure controls will be carried out in accordance with international regulations and standards. Also the information sharing concerning vessels going in and out of Berbera port has to be coordinated in order to increase the cooperation between counterparts to support the fight against human trafficking, illegal fishing and to keep the sea environment safe and secured.