The First Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament, Mrs Marit Nybakk was the godmother of the new rescue vessel of the Hellenic Rescue Team, which was "baptized" in a festive mood in Lesvos on Saturday,the 28th of May 2016, in the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Jørn Eugene Gjelstad, the Commodore of the Coast Guard, Nicholas Armpouniotis, regional Commander of the Coast Guard , who represented the Chief of the Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Stamatios Raptis, and many other representatives of the local authorities.
"Norway II" was donated to the Hellenic Rescue Team with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (RS) and comes as a continuation of the "Norway I” vessel sponsorship, which attempts by September 2015 in the sea area of ??Kos. The donation of the vessel is part of a promising support to the Hellenic Rescue Team from RS and the Norwegian government, aimed at enhancing both the operational capacity of HRT in maritime search and rescue in order to be able to meet its upcoming needs that may arise from a possible new upsurge of refugee flows, and daily incidents at sea. The "Norway II" attempts in Lesvos area, always subsidiary to the Coast Guard.
The ceremony and naming honored with their presence the deputy of SYRIZA Lesvos, Mr. George Pallis, the Deputy Head of the North Aegean, Mr. Theodore Valsamidis, the Regional Police Chief of Northern Aegean, Major Christofakis Nikos, the Chief Constable of Lesvos Police Directorate, Mr. Andreas Stefanou, Captain Nicholas Pasadis, the ??Harbour Master of Central Port Authority Mytilene, Brigadier George Vynios, the Deputy Commander of the 98th Supreme Command of Militia Orders , Mr. George Psanis, the President of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Lesvos Ms. Angeliki Sarantinou, Associate Director of Volunteering and Youth of Northern Aegean Region. On behalf of the Norwegian Organization for Sea Rescue, RS, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Anders Gundersen, Director of Management Department Boat, Mr. Webjørn Knudsen, the head of International Relations Department, Mr. Vivi Lundgren Schumann and officials of the Department of Communication of the Organization, Mr. Tanja Krangnes and Marianne Bergseth attended the ceremony. The Director of Port Mytilene, Mr. Konstantis Xydas, the crew of the ship «Peter Henry Von Koss» of the Norwegian Organisation RS, that tries on the island, the crew of "MINDEN", also located in Lesvos since March, as well as members of the Base of Hellenic Rescue Team in Chios, who arrived in Lesvos with vessels «IRINI» and «ATHINA» attended. Substantial, finally, was the presence of HRT members in Lesvos, which will operate the new vessel of HRT. The sanctification was blessed by Monsignor Bishop of Mytilene, Eresos and Plomari Iakovos the Third.
"We are proud of the rescue work of the RS staff and the volunteers of Hellenic Rescue Team in the Aegean," said in her speech the "godmother" of the boat, Ms. Marit Nybakk, who wished the crew good rescues and then “christened” the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne.
The Ambassador of Norway Mr. Gjelstad, noted in his speech that the cooperation between Norway and Greece is extremely valuable, and praised the work of the Norwegian RS to support maritime rescue in Greece. He also stressed that the cooperation of the private and public sectors can yield great results and praised the people of Lesbos and volunteers of Hellenic Rescue Team on the island for the incredible help and support they have offered to refugees.
"We find it difficult to understand how hard the volunteers of HRT have worked to help our fellow man when their lives were at risk at sea," said the Vessel Management Director of RS, Mr. Webjørn Knudsen, and went on to say "We are proud of this cooperation and of what we have achieved in such a short time. Our goal is to create a strong voluntary sea rescue organization in Greece. "
On his part, the President of the Central Administration of the HRT, Mr. George Kalogeropoulos emphasized the tremendous support of RS, which is organized through the donation of rescue boats, equipment and training programs, thus giving the organization the opportunity to continue the effective work and to intensify its efforts, especially in the Eastern Aegean.
Greetings, finally, in the naming ceremony were given by the Deputy Head of North Aegean, Mr. Theodore Valsamidis, Captain Nicholas Pasadis, Master Authority of the Central Port of Mytilene and Mr. George Psanis, President of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Lesvos.
Present at the event was also INTERAMERICAN, gold sponsor of HRT, which was represented by Mr. John Diamantis, the company's partner in the island of Lesvos.
The Hellenic Rescue Team would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters who assist the work and especially the Norwegian Organization for Sea Rescue, RS, the Norwegian Government, the headquarters of the Coast Guard, Setur port of Mytilene and especially its Director, Mr. Constantis Xydas, the authorities of the island and especially the Central Port of Mytilene, the North Aegean Region, the Municipality of Lesvos, the Fire Department of Lesvos, the Regional Police Directorate of the North Aegean, the Lesvos Police Directorate, AEGEAN, INTERAMERICAN, HELLENIC SEAWAYS, CORAL, HATZOPOULOS SA, DEDDHE, PFIZER, ALPHA BANK, GENESIS PHARMA, LALIZA, DACON and above all the volunteers of the HRT Lesvos.
* Pictured is the Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament, Marit Nybakk, with the President of the HRT, George Kalogeropoulos