With about 2.000 vessels operating in the Baltic Sea at any given minute, the risk of accidents is high. The platform nResQU2 brings together rescue services, seaports and other authorities to share guidelines, operational plans and procedures on incidents at sea and in ports, and to run large-scale exercises. By building on the experiences of Interreg Baltic Sea Region projects ChemSAR, HAZARD, and DiveSMART-Baltic and project Mirg-Ex, funded by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, ResQU2 increases the preparedness and coordination of rescue operations in the Baltic and North Seas.
ResQU2 increases preparedness and coordination of rescue operations
The amount of maritime traffic is constantly growing; more chemicals are being transported and the number of passengers is increasing. The risk of an accident exists: in the worst case scenario, a chemical tanker collides with a passenger ship. Hazardous materials are stored in or transported through ports, nearby which a large number of people live. They are at risk of being affected by the consequences of an accident, such as toxic clouds or smoke spreading through air. The objective of ResQU2 is to increase rescue authorities’ and services’ preparedness and reduce the effects of possible large-scale incidents at sea or in ports.
Learning from experiences and guidelines
A number of guidelines, procedures and lessons learned from previous incidents already exist. ResQU2 project will ensure that the gained learning experiences and existing guidelines are communicated, discussed and demonstrated to the national rescue authorities around the Baltic and North Sea areas. This will improve the emergency preparedness in all countries.
Joint guidelines ensure efficient co-operation
Large-scale rescue operations are often joint efforts of several countries. In order for the authorities to be able to co-operate in these rescue operations, they need to have the ability to work together. This is why joint guidelines, procedures, and frequent joint exercising are needed, and why the ResQU2 project platform wants to raise awareness of the existing procedures and enforce their use in practice.
Highlights by mid-term:
ResQU2 has spread the projects’ solutions to new regions and supported rescue authorities and services in developing maritime response capacity. For instance, Estonia is building up its Maritime Incidence Response Group (MIRG-EST). They are also implementing the standard operating procedures for hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) incidents in the Baltic Sea region prepared by the ChemSAR project.
The platform partners organised several events for rescue authorities and services and maritime safety experts, such as the workshop on building up maritime response capacity (Hamburg), Arctic Coast Guard Seminar (Turku), MSAR conference (Tallinn), Hybrid scenarios in the Baltic Sea (Velkua), and EMSA Technical Correspondence Group for HNS (Lisbon). ResQU2 has reached a large number of potential end-users and stakeholders, and paved the way for the development of national procedures and legislation to enhance preparedness.
ResQU2 partners drafted policy papers and recommendations, the tools to reach policy and decision makers. The scope of the policy papers in the initial application is multi-level governance as the papers strive to bring all national levels and organisations together, with one contact point that participates in an international board.
The rescue diving community demonstrates how is it possible to reach long-term management and cooperation. The aim is to improve the emergency preparedness by lifting relevant areas and reaching a legitimacy to work with in a long-term perspective, by receiving commitments from policy and decision makers.
Projects represented in the platform