Estonian, Finnish and Russian border guard personnel are engaging in a joint sea-borne training exercise in the Gulf of Finland Thursday, Baltic News Service Reports.
The operation, called Exercise Dunlin, focuses on a fictional sea rescue scenario where two ships have collided, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said.
The ships, a fishing vessel and a recreational boat, theoretically came to grief close to Kotka lighthouse, in Finnish waters. This caused the recreational boat to sink rapidly, thus requiring a rapid response from rescuers, coordinated by the Finnish maritime rescue services in Helsinki and calling on the assistance of Finland's two neighboring states in the Baltic region.
Participants from the Estonian side include the Rescue and Coordination Center, a pollution control ship the General Kurvits, and a PPA helicopter.
"Maritime rescue and anti-pollution cooperation with neighboring states is vital to us," Kaupo Läänerand, head of the PPA's fleet, said.
"Exercises are held annually, but they nevertheless always provide new learning opportunities. Joint rehearsals are definitely important to ensure both that our cooperation runs smoothly in an emergency and that we understand how our neighbors organize their own search and rescue efforts," he continued.
Editor: Andrew Whyte