Norwegian ship in place in the Mediterranean Ocean
The Norwegian ship ‘Olympic Commander’ is now in place in the Mediterranean. The ship takes over after ‘Siem Pilot’ who over a two year period picked up over 34,000 migrants.
‘Olympic Commander’ left Norway earlier this spring, and is now in place in Catania, Italy, reports Kripos.
The crew is headed by a police force chief and consists of ten people from the Armed Forces, eleven from the police and 16 crew members
The ship is 93 meters long and the deck covers more than 800 square meters. In the month leading up to the departure to Italy, the ship was specially adapted to participate in the Mediterranean Operation “Triton”.
The main mission of the ship is to carry out border control, but also will participate in search and rescue work when requested to do so.
The ship is owned by the Fosnavåg-based shipping company Olympic Shipping.
The previous Norwegian ship that participated in Operation Triton, ‘Siem Pilot’, picked up 34,278 people from the Mediterranean sea during two years of duty, 99 of those were already deceased.
Operation Triton (wikipedia)
Operation Triton is a border security operation conducted by Frontex, the European Union’s border security agency.
The operation, under Italian control, began on 1 November 2014 and involves voluntary contributions from 15 other European nations (both EU member states and non-members).
Current voluntary contributors to Operation Triton are Croatia, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Malta.
The operation was undertaken after Italy ended Operation Mare Nostrum, which had become too costly for a single country to fund; it was costing the Italian Government €9 million per month for an operation that lasted 12 months.
The Italian Government had requested additional funds from the other EU member states but they did not offer the requested support.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today