International Life-Salvage Exercise Started in Baltic
Text: FSB Frontier Service, St. Petersburg Department
Coast guards of Russia, Finland, and Estonia kicked off the Big Boat 2012 joint three-lateral life salvage exercise. Ships and boats of all participating parties are involved, as well as associated agencies of Estonia.
Russian delegation is headed by Gen Lt Anatoly Zabrodin, chief of St. Petersburg Department at FSB Frontier Service.
Traditionally, that exercise is held to improve cooperation amid the three countries in counter-terror, defense of state borders, and rescue at sea.
Frontiersmen of the three countries once again displayed high-level teamwork and well-organized joint actions.
"Since Aug 16, rescue tug Loksa and Baltic Fleet naval airplane An-26 joined the exercise", said the fleet's spokesman Capt 3 Rank Andrei Bespaly, reports Novosti@mail.ru.
According to him, rescue forces of Lithuania, Poland, and Russia are involved in the exercise as well. Apart from Russia's Baltic Fleet (BF), the maneuvers are attended by a patrol ship of Kaliningrad Coast Guard Dept, special vessels of Kaliningrad Maritime Rescue Center, regional EMERCOM and customs. Poland is represented by two search-and-rescue ships, and Lithuania dispatched one rescue ship.
In accordance with the exercise scenario, there is a rescue operation held in the Baltic Sea in order to help over 60 passengers and crewmembers of a "distressed" ship. The damaged vessel was simulated by rescue ship Pribrezhny sent by Kaliningrad Maritime Rescue Center. She dropped life rafts on the water with passengers on board.
According to the BF spokesman, such exercises are held every year since 2000 in the Baltic Sea in order to practice cooperation amid rescue services of regional countries.