The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard


  • 07.12.16

    Five new shipwrecks were given the official status of cultural heritage on November 4th 2016. That makes a total of eight officially recognised shipwrecks in the North Sea. According to the Belgian law with relation to shipwrecks, all findings are to be reported to the governor of West-Flanders province in his role as 'receiver'. A research follows to determine if the finding can be designated cultural heritage or not. Recognised shipwrecks are preserved in situ (they remain in the site where they were found) and their location is marked on nautical charts.

    Special protective measures apply. Activities that could damage the wreck are prohibited (anchoring, dredging,...). You are allowed to dive in that spot, but you are required to inform the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) (see Notices to Mariners - BAZ nr 1) and to notify the Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport at least 4 hours beforehand. This can be done by means of an electronic form on their website.

  • 09.11.16
    Research vessel Belgica®Federal Science Policy Office

    On the 28th of October 2016, the Ministerial Council agreed to replace the research vessel RV Belgica, after a proposal by Secretary of State for Science Policy Elke Sleurs and Secretary of State for the North Sea Philippe De Backer.

    The RV Belgica plays a substantial role in the Belgian marine scientific research. It was built in 1984 and has reached its maximum lifetime. That is why a structural solution for the replacement of the ship is of vital importance.

    Our coast guard partner Federal Science Policy Office is the owner of the ship and puts it at the disposal of Belgian scientists wishing to carry out marine scientific research. Our coast guard partner the Belgian navy provides the crew, operational support and a berthing quay in the home port of Zeebrugge.

    Good news for both these coast guard partners! -

  • 04.11.16

    Such questions can best be answered by our coast guard partner Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport.
    General phone number FPS Mobility and Transport: +32 (0)2 277 31 11 or mail to 

    Sea Fishery
    Front office Sea Fishery
    Natiënkaai 5
    8400 Ostend

    +32 (0)59/56 14 85
    Open from Monday to Friday 9am -12am

    Pleasure craft: certificates such as immatriculation,...

    Front office pleasure craft Oostende Front office pleassure craft Gent Front office pleasure craft Brussel

    Natiënkaai 5
    8400 Oostende

    Port Arthurlaan 12
    9000 Gent

    Vooruitgangstraat 56
    1210 Brussel
    Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays Open on Tuesdays and Fridays
    9am -11.45am

    9am -11.45am

    9am -11.45am

    Attention: the front office pleasure craft in Antwerpen is closed permanently!

    Merchant shipping: STCW, seaman's book,...

    Front Office Vessel management Antwerpen
    Posthoflei 5
    2600 Antwerpen

    +32 (0)3 286 68 90

    Open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am-11.45am

  • 27.10.16
    Harbour porpoise stranded on the beach®OD Natural Environment

    In 2015 52 harbour porpoises and 45 seals stranded on the beach. The scientist of our coast guard partner Operational Directorate (OD) Natural Environment have put the information on stranded cetaceans in Belgium in a brochure. In 2015, relatively few strandings of harbour porpoises were reported. Sea Life Blankenberge took care of 19 seals and 26 dead or dying seals have been reported. 

  • 24.10.16
    Salvage Flinterstar®afdeling Scheepvaartbegeleiding

    Last month the salvage of the Flinterstar wreckage, the cargo vessel that sunk in 2015 after a collision with the gas-carrier Al-oraiq, was completed. Now the whole seabed has also been completely cleared. Some debris still remained, but has now been removed. This means that from October 13th, the working area around the Flinterstar, where large vessels, fishing vessels and pleasure craft were prohibited to enter, has now been released. This area is accessible again and vessels do no longer have to make a detour.

  • 18.10.16
    Plenary Meeting European Coast Guard Functions Forum 2016

    From 20 tot 22 September the secretary of the coast guard took part in the plenary meeting of the European Coast Guard Functions Forum in London. This forum, founded in 2009, has as its main goal to make coast guard related activities more coherent within the different member states and to promote mutual cooperation. 

    This year, the focus was primarily on the cooperation between the different agencies within the European Union, such as the recently inaugurated European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). The chairmanship rotates between the participating countries, Belgium will host the forum in 2022. 

    More information on

  • 18.10.16
    MIRG exercise 11 October 2016

    October 12th, a large-scale international exercise took place on the North Sea in which various coast guard partners as well as the coast guard secretariat took part. As much as 500 persons worked together to pull this exercise off. The scenario involved a fire outbreak on board a ferry carrying more than 200 passengers.

    The perfect opportunity for several Maritime Incident Response Groups (MIRG) to put their training into practice. A MIRG team is made up of firefighters who are specifically trained to intervene quickly in the event of a distress situation on a ship in the high seas. Their main task is to avoid mass-evacuations. Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and France all have MIRG teams, and they all participated to the exercise.

    Thanks to the shipping police for the photos.

  • 11.10.16

    The application for a certificate of registration for pleasure craft or the renewal thereof can now be handled completely online. An e-service was created for this purpose and the status of the application can be followed online. This way, you no longer have to stand in line and the application can be handled more efficiently. 

    You can find the e-service on the website of our coast guard partner Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport: 

  • 10.10.16
    NH90®Jorn Urbain

    Have you always dreamt of being a pilot with the ministry of Defence? October 12th an information session on the differrent aspects of the formation and profession of a pilot takes place in the air base in Beauvechain. 

    Are you interested in another function with the Air component of our coast guard partner the ministry of Defence? Another information session is planned, one week later on Wednesday 19 October, also in Beauvechain. 

    All information on

  • 30.09.16

    Looking for a job and interested in wind and water? Sunday October 2nd there is a job fair in Ostend which focuses on vacancies of firms active in the on - and offshore wind industry and maritime industry. 

    From 10am to 3pm- Greenbridge, Wetenschapspark 1, Oostende

    All information on