MCA: Chief Coastguard launches new twinning project with Bulgaria – Fishupdate.com

MCA: Chief Coastguard launches new twinning project with Bulgaria Published:  21 August, 2007

THE Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Bulgarian Maritime Agency have announced the launch of a new twinning project, which is aimed at developing effective search and rescue (SAR) services in the Bulgarian Search and Rescue region.

The project has three main elements, including:

* The first will assess and review the current SAR provision, and will build on that to develop a search and rescue framework document for Bulgaria, which meets international EU requirements and practice;

* The project will focus on the design and delivery of training for BMA SAR operational staff and managers. BMA and MCA experts will also work on a sustainable training strategy to help meet future needs; and

* The project also aims to assess future challenges as the tourist industry along the Black Sea coast grows and the number of large vessels crossing the Black Sea increases.

During the initiative, experts from the BMA and the MCA, together with other organisations committed to keeping Bulgarian Black Sea waters safe will work on a range of activities to deliver the objectives, and will also assess how the area is likely to develop and the potential impact on Search and Rescue services which, in turn, will contribute to the formulation of a 10 year development plan, in consultation with other search and rescue providers.

A launch event was held in Varna and was attended by the Executive Director of the BMA, Capt. Nikolai Apostolov, Doctor Zlatko Kuzmanov, Director of Information Services to Shipping and Search and Rescue at the BMA and Peter Dymond, Chief Coastguard, Maritime & Coastguard Agency who will lead the Project Team from the UK.

Peter Dymond, Chief Coastguard said: “Safety of life in the Black Sea and along the coastal areas of Bulgaria is a priority and all those involved in the project want to see Bulgaria’s reputation grow in future as a ‘first class’ SAR service provider and we are delighted that the MCA will be able to provide assistance to the Bulgarian Government in helping achieve those maritime goals.”

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