The state-owned search and rescue service MSPiR was established in 2002, and its activities are directed by various legislation relating to safety at sea, sea pollution, transportation and maritime affairs, maritime dangers, and radio monitoring and meteorology. With its operations spanning the entire Polish coast between the German and Russia borders, MSPiR saves the lives not only of Polish sailors but also international seafarers who find themselves in distress in the often harsh conditions of the Baltic Sea.
“We have ten ships whose purpose is to save lives,” explains spokesperson Rafał Goeck. “All are equipped with navigation and survival equipment, rescue boats, cranes, and signalling units. Seven of them can achieve a speed of 30 knots and provide shelter and emergency medical aid for up to 75 people. The ships have a dual purpose: to rescue people and fight ship fires.” MSPiR’s activities are managed from two maritime rescue coordination centers which are linked to fourteen rescue stations along the Polish coast.
While the saving of human lives is its primary activity, MSPiR is also heavily involved in the ‘rescue’ of the Baltic Sea and the environment from the pollution caused by accidents at sea. The agency operates two anti-pollution ships, one of which, despite being built in 1996, is a really modern ship, thanks to the fact that it is modernized on a regular basis. The older ship, built in 1988, is still extremely effective in combating oil pollution and ship fires.
We are in the process of building a new anti-oil-pollution ship, which will come into service in 2022 and will significantly increase the level of maritime safety in our waters. Rafał GoeckSpokesperson
We are in the process of building a new anti-oil-pollution ship which will come into service in 2022,” reveals Mr. Goeck. “This ship will significantly increase the level of maritime safety in our waters. In addition, we have recently begun to deploy drones to track pollution on the surface of the sea.”
The investment in new equipment is being driven by the growing requirement for the agency’s search and rescue services. “We need new, modern equipment to improve our performance and more training in lifesaving and environmental protection skills,” notes Mr. Goeck. “Our priorities are to set up our own training and testing centers and the ongoing replacement and upgrading of our ships and equipment.”