Capability Gap

Insufficient means for Search and Rescue operations


Considering the migration flows in M&BS regions there is no adequate number of rescue means. This is linked not only to the lack of adequate equipment but also to deficient coordination between volunteer organisations and government institutions, a situation that is experienced along all Mediterranean routes (Western, Central and Eastern). 

Operational challenges that stem from these conditions are mainly the following: 

  • Time delay between alerts and activation of rescue services. This has happened even with data on the exact position of the wreck. Problems arise from lack of detection equipment, reduction of rescue controllers and personnel on boats / aircrafts  
  • Dismissal of charges of long-standing seafarers for “lack of confidence”. Likewise, the search for profiles of people to be hired is related to the new rescue structure as an element of immigration control 
  • Deployment of greater means if the alert corresponds to a European citizen, – which presents discrimination and fundamental rights issues 
  • Reduction of nightly searches for migrants in third countries, cooperation gaps between involved agencies from EU MS and third countries 
  • Lack of aerial means to search for boats. 

These operational challenges are of high importance as they create gaps in complete border security and monitoring of incoming refugees. In addition, they also have an impact on the security and safety of the refugees themselves, as well as their chances for safe relocation.  

Operational Challenges

Restricted to MEDEA Members

General description of operational capability

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Additional Considerations

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