Photo: Kustbevakningen

Operation Poseidon

The Swedish Coast Guard has been part of operation Poseidon, led by Frontex. The operation was replaced by Poseidon Rapid Intervention in 2016. A coastal patrol boat, KBV 477, has been deployed to the island of Lesvos since October 2015. An additional coastal patrol boat, KBV 476, was added to the operation on 1 April 2016.

Two crews and a team leader operates the boats on a daily basis, patrolling the waters off the coast of Lesvos. Since autumn of 2015 the mission has changed from a heavy focus on Search and Rescue to Border Surveillance. This due to the agreement between EU and Turkey that was signed in March 2016.

Coordinated by Frontex

Operation Poseidon Rapid Intervention is a joint EU effort led by the Greek authorities and coordinated by Frontex, the EU agency managing operational cooperation of the external borders of the EU.

The Swedish Coastal Patrol Boats KBV 476 and KBV 477 each have a crew of three Swedish Coast Guard Officers and a Greek Liaison Officer. The boats are larger RHIBs (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) with excellent seaworthiness and speed capabilities. The boats are part of a series of four that are designed for maritime border control, and are partially funded by the EU border fund.

From October 2015 to March 2016, 3 930 people were rescued and brought on board KBV 477, and later safely transported to shore in Greece.