Spain - Maritime Emergencies Evaluation Teams

February 2008

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With effect from 30 April 2008 Maritime Emergencies Evaluation Teams established by a new order will have full authority to board vessels in Spanish waters in the event of accidents or incidents that may affect the safety of the ship and human life, navigational security, result in the jettison of cargo and risk of pollution. 

The teams will be distributed in five different areas of the Spanish coast: Cantabria, Galicia, South, Mediterranean and Canary Islands. They will be available and ready to act 24 hours a day throughout the year and will operate under the orders of the Harbour Masters (HM) and the General Directorate of Merchant Marine (DGMM). The teams will have full authority to board ships in distress, to inform and advise the Harbour Master and DGMM of the situation of the ship and to execute their orders, having evaluated the measures that can be adopted according to each situation. The vessel’s master will be advised accordingly and the teams will verify that he follows the instructions and orders from HM and DGMM and will monitor the operations of any salvage company instructed by ship owners. 

The non-compliance by the master of a vessel in an emergency situation may be considered an infraction and sanctions against the master and owners may follow. 

Further information is given in an advice issued by INDECO Independent Correspondents & Maritime and Transport Services S.L. which can be downloaded below.