CNA News

Defence Minister-NG Chief highlight Rafnar vessel’s importance for SAR operations

Defence Minister Vassilis Palmas and the Chief of the National Guard Georgios Tsitsikostas highlighted the importance of adding a 40-foot Rafnar vessel to the Navy Command’s fleet donated from Safe Bulkers Inc. in terms of search and rescue operations and the upgrading of coastal security in the maritime zones of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus, during today’s vessel donation acceptance ceremony held at the Ministry of Defence, in the presence of the company’s CEO Polys Haji-Ioannou and its President Loukas Barbaris.

In his address, the Defence Minister said that the addition of the new semi-inflatable vessel to the fleet of the Navy Command of the General Staff will enhance the ability of the NG to deal with the challenges arising in search and rescue incidents with immediacy, precision and efficiency, as due to the equipment available it will add operational benefit both in terms of the ability to quickly move to the area of the incident, and the ability to successfully execute the operation under adverse weather conditions.

He then thanked the CEO of the company, describing the donation as a “generous act that demonstrates his love for his country of origin and his interest in the safety of its citizens and the upgrading of the capabilities of the Armed Forces.”

The recent crises in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East have attested to the upgraded role of the Republic of Cyprus as a pillar of security and stability, cooperation and understanding in the wider region, the Minister continued, citing as examples the country’s recent contribution to international efforts for the evacuation and reception of civilian evacuees, as well as the contribution to the Amalthea project for the management of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

He added that in this context one of the most important tools for fulfilling and upgrading this role is the Search and Rescue system.