The EMSA website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, in accordance with the EMSA privacy notice. Find out more on how we use cookies



Key Aspects of the Vessels Network

pollution response exercise

Each of EMSA’s contracted vessels has the following characteristics:

• Speed of 12 knots for prompt arrival on scene as well as low speed manoeuvrability for response operations
• On-board capability to decant excess water thereby maximising the use of on-board storage capacity
• Large storage capacity for recovered oil
• Ability to heat recovered cargo and use high capacity pumps to facilitate the discharging of heavy viscous oil mixtures to facilities ashore
• Oil slick detection system to facilitate the positioning of the vessel in the thicker oil slicks, and to enable operations at night.

All vessel arrangements comprise of two different containment and mechanical recovery options available for response operations depending on the weather conditions and type of pollutant:

• Sweeping arms;
• Ocean-going booms and an offshore skimmer (on certain vessels there are also high-capacity skimmers and weir booms available).

The average individual oil storage capacity of EMSA’s contracted vessels is in the region of 3 600 m³, while the total storage capacity of all the vessels in the network is around 60 000 m³.

Seaborne dispersant application capability:

Alternatively to the mechanical oil recovery options, seaborne dispersant application systems and dispersant stockpiles are available through four of the network’s vessel arrangements, in Cyprus, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

pollution response dispersants

Each of these four established stockpiles currently has 200 tonnes of dispersant, available to be used upon request on EMSA’s vessels equipped with dispersant spraying capabilities anywhere in Europe.

Network of Response Vessels: Quick facts

Number of vessels which can be mobilised simultaneously: 17

Average storage capacity per vessel for recovered oil: 3.675 m3

Network storage capacity, if 17 vessels are mobilised 62.475 m3

Number of related equipment stockpiles: 17

Mobilisation time (vessel ready to sail to site) after request: 24 hours

Mobilisation procedure:

-Member States request assistance via the ERCC

-Member States have operational control of the vessel during the incident