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On the 11th and 12th of October 100 HZS students (3rd Bachelor Nautical Sciences and 3rd Bachelor Marine Engineering) and 12 HZS teachers participated in an international evacuation exercise on board of the cruise ferry Oscar Wilde.

MIRGEX is an international joint partnership. Safety Region Zeeland (NL), which brings together crisis management, fire fighters and medical assistance, is lead partner. The other partners in the project are: the Fire Brigades of Antwerp, Beveren and Ghent. These brigades are linked to important international ports, that accommodate large chemical production plants.

In addition to the fire brigades, the Federal Organisation of Public Civil Assistance in Brugge, the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services-Shipping Assistance Division and the Maatschappij van de Brugse Zeehaven nv (Zeebrugge Port Authority) are partners in the MIRGEX project. The French Service départemental d’incendie et de secours de Pas-de-Calais and the English Kent Fire and Rescue Service complete the partnership.


During the two day exercise on 11 and 12 October the MARITIME INCIDENT RESPONSE GROUPs had to deal with a truck on fire, an incident with hazardous liquids and a person trapped.

One of the goals of the exercise was to test the team’s tasking and operational procedures. With nearly 500 participants (including 112 from the HZS) observers from 15 EU and neighboring countries, and the deployment of five ships and three helicopters, this was one of the largest maritime incident response exercises ever held in European waters.

The teams from the four countries showed they can handle long lasting incidents. The exercise staff looks back on a successful drill.

More info about the operation:

(pictures HZS)


(pictures 1-8 Edouard Storme, pictures 9-13 Harold Camus)


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