Hellenic Coast Guard (Greek Λιμενικό Σώμα-Ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή -
Limeniko Soma-Elliniki Aktofylaki - lit. "Harbor Corps-Hellenic
Coast Guard") is the national coast guard of Greece. Like most
other coast guards, it is a paramilitary organization that can
support the Hellenic Navy in wartime, but resides under separate
civilian control in times of peace. It was founded in 1919 by an
Act of Parliament (N. 1753/1919) and the legal framework for its
function was reformed in 1927. The current name is specified in
The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is currently under the authority
of the Ministry of Civil Protection. The Hellenic Coast Guard
Force is headed by the Senior Coast Guard Officer who normally
has the rank of Vice Admiral.
The basic roles of the Hellenic Coast Guard are law enforcement
in sea, search and rescue, marine safety, pollution prevention
in sea, fishery patrolling, prevention of the illegal
immigration, drug interdiction.
In order to perform these roles, the Coast Guard operate a
number of Patrol Boats of various sizes (6m to 60m) and
different types (RIB's, coastal patrol boats, offshore patrol
boats, lifeboats and pollution control vessels). On land the
Hellenic Coast Guard is equipped with cars and motorcycles.
The Hellenic Coast Guard operates the Maritime Rescue
Coordination Center (MRCC) in Piraeus and the Emergency Radio
Communications Station SXE at Aspropyrgos (38°02′12.5″N
23°35′7.5″E). The Hellenic Coast Guard also operates the Vessel
Traffic Service (V.T.M.I.S.) at busy sea lanes, currently around
the ports of Piraeus, Elefsis, Lavrion and Rafina.
Between May 21, 1964 and 1980 the Hellenic Coast Guard had its
own special flag, which was derived from the Greek Ensign with
the addition of the crossed anchors badge on the center of the
Role and responsibilities
Main activities of the Hellenic Coast Guard are defined in the
present legislation and specified within its institutional
framework of operation. These activities are the following:
enforcement at sea, ports and coastal areas, prevention of
illegal immigration. Surveillance of shipping, ports, sea
space and borders.
and Rescue at Sea (jointly with the Hellenic Air Force,
responsible for Search and Rescue by air)
of navigation (with the exception of lighthouses, racons and
buoys, which are constructed, purchased, installed and
maintained by the Hellenic Navy Lighthouse Service)
Protection of the marine environment, response to marine
Provision of emergency maritime radio communication services
operations (excluding port pilots service)
Representation of Greece in International Organizations and
the European Commission in matters related to these roles.