Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner of Regional Policies Corina Creţu are visiting ChemSAR project on 1st June 2017 in Helsinki. The visit is hosted by the Finnish Border Guard and it takes place on board the Finnish Border Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel Uisko.
The aim of the visit is to inform the commission representatives about the targets and benefits of the ChemSAR project, and how it will improve the international rescue operations at sea. The visit also entails demonstration of the operations on board OPV Uisko. During the visit OPV Uisko will make a short trip outside Helsinki.
– We are so pleased to see that the European Commission is interested in ChemSAR. It tells us that what we do in the project is useful and important. According to surveys there is a lack of operational plans and procedures for search and rescue operations applicable to cases of hazardous and noxious substances incidents in the Baltic Sea region. Large quantities of different chemicals are transported by sea and the risk of an accident exists, says Project Coordinator Kirsi Laitio from the Centre for Maritime Studies.
The goal of the ChemSAR project is to create operational plans and procedures for international maritime search and rescue operations in hazardous and noxious substances incidents in the Baltic Sea Region, and thus make the rescue operations safer and more efficient. The project has been granted the label of a flagship project under the Priority Area SAFE in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). This means that the project fulfils a particular set of criteria: it has a high macro-regional impact; it contributes to the objectives of the strategy; and, it is related to one or more actions of the Priority Areas/Horizontal Actions described in the strategy.