On June 25th a series of mentoring and practical exercises with particular focus on Search and Rescue (SAR), organized by EUCAP Nestor in Somaliland, were completed. The training commenced on June 8th included practical exercises at sea in the coastal town of Berbera.
The course proved an ideal opportunity to make use of a ‘Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat’ (RHIB) donated by EUCAP Nestor to the Somaliland Coast Guard and put it through its initial tests, EUCAP Nestor said. The RHIB will initially be used as SAR Training and Control vessel with a dedicated crew trained on its safe and responsible handling.
In line with a comprehensive approach towards capacity building in the Horn of Africa, UNODC Engineers, located in Berbera, assisted in preparations prior to launching the RHIB. EUCAP Nestor provided fuel to conduct the exercises and donated Fire Fighting equipment.
The Somaliland Coast Guard is currently dealing with an increased influx of refugees and returning migrants from Yemen potentially resulting in an increased need for SAR skills and knowledge, EUCAP Nestor said, adding that the specialized SAR training course is likely to help saving lives at sea. The second SAR Training module is planned for September, and will build on the lessons learned to date. The intention is to earmark and equip one Coast Guard vessel for SAR duties by the end of the second SAR module.
Parallel to the SAR training programme, the Mission was able to deliver the necessary office furniture for the English Language Teaching Laboratory at the Berbera Maritime & Fisheries Academy (BMFA).
The end of the SAR training programme coincided with the celebration of the annual ‘International Day of the Seafarer’ organized by the Berbera Maritime & Fisheries Academy, the Coast Guard and EUCAP Nestor. On this occasion the EU mission donated maritime books to the Academy library.