A key task for the Agency is to make available additional at-sea oil recovery resources to assist Member States responding to large scale incidents such as the Erika (1999, France) and Prestige (2002, Spain). Therefore, a Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels has been built up in order to 'top-up' pollution response capacities of the EU Member States.
The EMSA Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels are commercial vessels which can be rapidly converted to oil pollution response activities. The contracted vessels have large recovered oil storage capacities and a choice of oil recovery systems (sweeping arms or boom & skimmer system).
In order to improve the efficiency of at-sea operations, each vessel is:
Number of vessels which can be mobilised simultaneously: 17
Average storage capacity per vessel for recovered oil: 3.674 m3
Network storage capacity, if 17 vessels are mobilised >62.467 m3
Number of related equipment stockpiles: 15
Mobilisation time (vessel ready to sail to site) after signature of Incident Response Contract: 24 hours
-Member States request assistance via the MIC
-Member States have operational control of the vessel during the incident
Number of regional or national at-sea exercises in which EMSA vessels were involved (2011): 11