Press release | Date: 2015-05-15 | Office of the Prime Minister| No: 77/2015
‘The Government is strengthening the Norwegian efforts in the Mediterranean by sending the vessel Siem Pilot and personnel to participate in Joint Operation Triton,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The vessel is to sail from Norway by the end of May.
‘I would like to thank the personnel from the police and the armed forces and those from the shipping company who will be taking part in a joint European operation to save lives in the Mediterranean,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation, has decided to charter the vessel Siem Pilotfrom Siem Offshore. A total of 48 offers had been submitted by the deadline in the invitation to tender. Siem Pilot meets the specifications for taking part in border patrols and supporting search and rescue operations.
‘The situation in the Mediterranean is grave and calls for a joint European effort,’ said Prime Minister Solberg.
‘The Government considers it important that Triton has the capacity, the mandate and the area of operation necessary to be able to save lives. We are therefore positive to the current dialogue between Frontex and a number of countries to expand the operational plan for Triton. We are following the discussion in the EU closely, and will maintain a dialogue with the EU on what further contributions can alleviate the situation,’ Ms Solberg added.
According to plan, the vessel will be chartered from 20 May, after which it will be fitted with the necessary equipment in order to be ready to sail from Norway by the end of the month. Estimated sailing time from Norway to Italy is 10–14 days, during which time the crew and the personnel from the police and the armed forces will train for the tasks they will be carrying out in the Mediterranean.
‘A human tragedy is currently unfolding in the Mediterranean. By strengthening the capacity of operation Triton, we can save more lives,’ said Ms Solberg.
The vessel that is being provided by Norway meets the needs outlined by Frontex, and has initially been chartered for six months. Triton is a border control operation conducted by Frontex. The two main tasks of the operation are to patrol the borders and to help save lives in the Mediterranean.
The Government will take a broad approach to further efforts. We will maintain our close cooperation with NGOs, and we will combat human trafficking and organised crime.