The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard

News

  • 30.08.17

    If you go diving at sea, you are obliged to report this to the Maritime Rescue and Coördination Centre (MRCC) Ostend. The correct procedure can be found in Notices to Mariners nr 1.

    If you go diving on wrecks, you should take into account that in Belgian waters 8 ship wrecks are recognized as cultural heritage. 
    They are: 
    - HMS Wakeful
    - West-Hinder
    - Wooden shipwreck Ostend
    - Wrecksite Buiten Ratel Sandbank
    - t Vliegend Hart
    - U-11
    - SS Kilmore
    - HMS Briljant

    If you decide to go diving on one of these wrecks, you are not only required to report this to MRCC Ostend, but also to the Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport. This should be done at least four hours beforehand. You can find an online form on the website of FPS Mobility and Transport. 

  • 28.08.17

    The secretaries Coast Guard had a meeting with Secretary of State for the North Sea Philippe De Backer, the governor of West-Flanders province and their advisors on August 25th 2017. True to tradition, a number of current topics were discussed, such as watersports at sea, the coast guard centre, watersports at sea, drones, Marine Spatial Planning, ...

  • 21.08.17
    NH90©Belgian Navy

    Crazy about helicopters, fascinated by the air force and a keen runner?
    Keep your diary clear for the open door of our coast guard partner ministry of Defense at Coxyde Base. 
    you are welcome on Wednesday 23rd of August from 1pm to 5pm. 

    At 7pm you can take part in the Runway Run. By doing so, you do not only support several charities but you stand a chance to win a flight in a helicopter. 

    All information: Basis Koksijde and www.lopenvoorhetgoededoel.be

  • 02.08.17
    Aerial Surveillance

    In 2016 our coast guard partner MUMM/ Operational Directorate Natural Environment - Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences flew a total of 273 hours on missions to observe the North Sea from the air. The operators detected 33 instances of pollution caused by vessels at sea: 13 operational discharges and 20 accidental discharges. They also investigated sulphur emissions at sea: 120 vessels were suspected of emitting high levels of sulphur from their exhausts.

    Read more on www.naturalsciences.be

  • 26.07.17
    Border control pleasure craft

    Due to a EU directive, from now on the Maritime and River Police will closely monitor the pleasure craft to and from third countries (=non-Schengen destinations). 

    This means that the crew of yachts departing from a Belgian harbour to a non-Schengen country (Great-Britain) are to report to the border crossing point of the Maritime and River Police in the port of origin. Pleasure craft coming from a non-Schengen country, have to call at a port that is a designated border crossing point and report to the Maritime and River Police based in said port.

    In both instances, you need to hand over a document containing all technical characteristics of the vessel and the names of all persons aboard. A template for this document can be found in the Notices to Mariners nr 1(Annex 2) and can also be found on the nautibel website

    All marinas along the Belgian coast are recognized Schengen border crossing points.

    More information in Notices to Mariners nr 1 and www.nautibel.be 

  • 26.07.17
    Surveillance airplane MUMM

    After ten years of loyal service, the surveillance airplane of the MUMM (Operational Directorate Natural Environment, Science Policy Office) deserved a new coat of paint!

    Over the years, the airplane's taksks diversified: from almost exclusively monitoring vessel discharges, to a broad array of operations, focussing on 'maritime surveillance' in cooperation with other coast guard partners. To mark and to highlight this evolution, the surveillance airplane will from now on be recognizable as an official Coast Guard platform with matching logo and the typical colors and striping. For more information on the Belgian programme for surveillance of the North Sea, see http://odnature.naturalsciences.be/mumm/en/

  • 25.07.17
    TTX exercises drowning persons

    On 16, 23 and 24 March 2017, three table top exercises were held to test the procedure for saving drowning persons, all under the supervision of West-Flanders governor Carl Decaluwé. This year the coastal municipalities of Westende, Nieuwpoort and Zeebrugge took part.

    These are exercises without a real deployment of any emergency services/means. A crisis situation is simulated based on a realistic scenario and the participants work out on paper how they would operate on site and in real time. Numerous (coast guard) partners participated as well as the coast guard secretaries who acted as observors.

  • 20.07.17
    New shipping routes

    New shipping routes for the Belgian and the Dutch (southern) part of the North Sea came into effect June 1st 2017.

    The North Sea is one of the busiest and most intensively used seas in the world. For certain areas, no fixed routes existed along the Dutch and Belgian coast.Therefore the Netherlands and Belgium jointly adapted their shipping routes.
    The new routes will help ships to navigate efficiently, will improve safety at sea and will reduce the risk of
    environmental pollution. The shipping routes will be advertised internationally and will be incorporated in the official nautical charts. 

    More information on the website of our coast guard partner Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport.

  • 23.03.17

    On our planet, no beach remains where you won't find any plastic. If pollution continues at this level, by 2050 there will be more plastic found in oceans than there will be fish swimming. High time to do something about it! On the first sunday of spring, you can do your bit and help other volunteers clean up the beach all along our coast. March 26th, from 2pm tot 6pm, the Eneco beach cup takes places in cooperation with the surf clubs.  

    Information and registration on enecobeachcup.be 

  • 22.03.17
    Charter Marina Information Network

    March 15th, 2017 the Marina Information Network was officially launched with the signing of a charter.

    Our coast guard partner the Maritime and River Police initiated this project and signed the charter together with the governor of West-Flanders, the local police and fifteen yacht clubs from Ostend, Nieuwpoort, Blankenberge and Zeebruges. The information network ensures more efficient communication by means of a central hotline. This means that there will be a swifter response in case of theft or smuggling and thus contributes to safer marinas. This network is a first for the province of West-Flanders and should be fully operational in a few months time.