The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard


  • 18.03.16

    To hold the position of rescue diver, the first requirement is to be a professional soldier. First you have to successfully complete the general training as petty officer. The maximum age to start with this four-year training is 33 years. After this training, a specific one-year diving training follows. 

    Obviously, you are expected to be in excellent shape. If you have diving experience prior to the start of the training, it is considered an advantage. After successfully completing the necessary training, you can be eligible for the function of rescue-diver with the 40SQN if there is a vacancy. 

  • 14.03.16

    Friday March 11th, the first meeting of the Coast Guard consultation body took place under the chairmanship of West-Flanders governor Carl Decaluwé.
    Our coast guard partner Customs presented the action plan for unorthodox landings of goods and a study concerning 'Canal at sea' was discussed briefly. Furthermore, the necessary attention was given to progress made with relation to enforcement and control activities. The calendar which contains all exercises held by coast guard partners was reviewed as well as the steps taken in completing the contigency plan for Mass Evacuation. To conclude, the coast guard partners had a look at the developments with regard to the coast guard centre.  

  • 29.10.15
    Castor ®Jorn Urbain

    After an intensive period of training, our coast guard partner Defense welcomed its two new patrol vessels, P901 Castor and P902 Pollux, as"Full Operational Capability" vessels. At the same time, their predecessor A950 Valcke was given a fitting send off. The Valcke performed numerous operations with regard to 'Action State at Sea" during its active career and helped ensure the maritime safety and security of Belgian coastal waters.

    The patrol vessels are available day and night for guard - and intervention operations in the Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone and the North Sea. In cooperation with other coast guard partners, the Castor and Pollux perform or help perform duties with regard to pollution control, fishery watch, police and customs tasks and search and rescue operations. Disaster reflief, as was the case with the sunk carrier Flinterstar, also falls within the scope of their range of duties.

  • 05.10.15

    From October 5th to October 8th, the Dutch coast guard hosts the summit meeting of the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum, a non-binding forum between the coast guard organizations of 20 member states. Central theme for this year is 'future operations'. The main goal is to promote and facilitate cooperation and to exchange information on best practices and experiences.

    The North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum was founded in 2007. Each year one of the member states organizes an 'expert meeting' in the spring. In the fall there is always a meeting of all heads of delegation, the so-called 'summit'. The host for 2015 is the Dutch Coast Guard and the summit meeting takes place in Rotterdam on board the SS Rotterdam. The Belgian Coast Guard secretariat also participates to defend the interests of the Belgian coast guard partners.

  • 14.09.15

    After the successful editions of 2008, 2011 and 2013, the port authorities of Antwerp, Ghent, Ostend and Zeebrugge open their doors to the public once again on Sunday 20th September. In cooperaton with the Flemish Authorities they organize a fourth Ports Day, during which you can take a peek behind the scenes of the Flemish ports.

    You also get the chance to learn more about some of our coast guard partners: the agency for Maritime and Coastal Services, Customs & Excise, Maritime and River Police and the ministry of Defence.

  • 07.09.15
    Masterplan Coastal safety

    This is a very severe storm which, statistically, can occur once every millenium. By comparison: the storm of 1953 (in Belgium) was a 250-year storm. A millenial-scale storm may cause extremely high waves and a spectacular sea level rise. When exactly this storm will hit our shores is impossible to predict. It may be as soon as tomorrow, but it may as well be twenty or a hundred years from now.

    Coastal Division, part of the agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK) is working very hard to protect the Belgian coast against such storms.
    A study was carried out to pinpoint the weak spots along the coast. These are the main harbours and also the coastal line between the municipalities of Wenduine and Blankenberge and between Middelkerke and Ostend. In 2011 a masterplan Coastal Safety was approved, which incorporates all the improvements to strenghten our defense against the sea. These include raised and broadened beaches, higher quay walls and the construction of storm walls.

  • 03.09.15
    Polex exercise 2 Sep 15

    Yesterday, September 2nd, a number of our Belgian coast guard partners, together with the Netherlands and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) practised their anti-pollution skills at sea.

    Since 2001 the Belgian authorities own specialized equipment for the combating of pollution at sea, more in particular oil spills. This is a limited capacity which can be used for the first interventions. In case of a large-scale pollution, the neighbouring countries can be relied upon to lend a helping hand. Furthermore, we can also appeal to EMSA and the vessels that they keep stand-by. To ensure the deployment goes as smoothly as possible, exercises are held regularly.

    The exercise yesterday took place near the Goote Bank, approximately 20 kilometres off the coast. Following coast guard partners brought the exercise to a successful end: Directorate-General (DG) Environment (coordinator), Fleet, Maritime and River police, Belgian Science Policy Office/Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM, ministry of Defense, Shipping Assistance Division/Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre and Civil Protection. The governor of West-Flanders followed the exercise as observer.

    More information:

  • 31.08.15
    NH90 (©Jorn Urbain)

    Only a few weeks after our coast guard partner Defence declared the naval version of the new NH90 helicopters operational, the brand new helicopter completed its first life-saving mission, on the request of the British authorities. They needed help to carry out a medical evacuation. In the following months, the ministry of Defence will deploy the NH90 helicopters at a more frequent basis until they will completely have replaced the legendary Sea King before the end of 2018.

    All details of the mission on

  • 28.08.15
    Are you waterproof

    Surf to for all information with regard to maritime educational institutes and a career at sea.
    (website only available in Dutch)

  • 25.08.15
    Opendoor Koksijde 2015

    Tomorrow, August 26th, our coastguard partner Defence opens the doors of the aerial base Koksijde. Between 1pm and 5pm you can go and see the new NH90 helicopters, replacement for the Seaking helicopters.

    Admission is free.
    The open door is followed by the fourth edition of the Runway Run.

    More information