European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
is a European Union agency charged with reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human lives at sea by helping to enforce the pertinent EU legislation. It is headquartered in Lisbon. EMSA was founded in 2002, after the EU adopted substantial packages of legislation relating to maritime security in the wake of major shipping disasters in European waters, such as the oil tankers Erika and Prestige. It was felt that a specialized technical agency was necessary to overview the enforcement of this legislation and help in its implementation.
In March 2012, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in accordance with its operational plan for the EMSA network of stand-by oil recovery vessels in the Baltic Sea conducted its quarterly drill in in the Gulf of Bothnia. In conjunction with the OSR drills, the Finnish icebreaker Kontio was deployed. Kontio is equipped with Lamor Free Floating (LFF100) skimmer, stiff sweep with brush and weir modules, heavy duty oil booms as well as oil transfer pumps.
Kontio is one of three EMSA stand-by ORVs in the northern Baltic Sea, with a total net storage capacity of 11,000 m³. Its crew is fully trained in accordance with IMO OPRC level 1 and 2. “These quarterly drills are an important aspect of maintaining skills, readiness and equipment in the event of an OSR operation,” says Lamor’s Juha Muhonen, VP Finland & Baltic Countries.