"Despite Our Enormous Effort" - Who Can Help Hellenic Rescue Team, Greece?

Posted in General News

The Hellenic Rescue Team has written the IMRF a letter requesting for help, what their plans are, the problems saving refugees in the waters around Greece and Turkey and what they need to execute their plans to save lives in their part of the world.

Georgios Kalogeropoulos writes - an excerpt of his letter - 13th July 2015:

Hellenic Rescue Team (H.R.T) is a Non-Governmental Organization of Search and Rescue, whose members participate voluntarily in operations since 1978. Since 1994 is running under the form of an association.

Our organization is acknowledged by Civil Protection Authorities of Ministry of Internal Affairs and is in constant cooperation with the Ministry of Citizen Protection, the European Union (ECHO - European Commission Humanitarian aid Office) and OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).

Furthermore, is acknowledged by INSARAG/UN as the only international rescue organization in Greece and is a full member of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (IKAR/CISA), International Rescue Dog Organization (IRO) and, of course, International Maritime Rescue Federation.

Our headquarters is located in Thessaloniki, but we cover the whole country with 31 branches all over Greece. With a manpower of over 2.000 volunteers, our organization participates in Search and Rescue missions in cases of emergencies and massive disasters, wherever they take place in Greece or abroad. Our members are fully trained professional and amateur rescuers, who act within the spirit of voluntarism.


Our Branches’ Action in the Area of the Greek-Turkey Coast

The work of our volunteers in Mytilini, Samos and Kos branches has been intensified during the last months, as their participation in rescue missions and treating the refugees is most of the times necessary.

Specifically, our branch in Mytilini has taken part in 141 S.A.R. missions from February 2015 until the end of May, whereas our station in Samos has helped in over 110 S.A.R missions from January 2015 until May 2015.

Moreover, our volunteers in Kos have participated in over 70 missions during the last year. Additionally, according to official data from the Greek authorities (Coast Guard, Police), over 60.000 refugees have arrived to the Mytilini, Kos, Lesvos and Samos in the last six months.

Our volunteers are working together with the Coast Guard, contributing with all the rescue and first aid equipment they provide. Our collaboration with the authorities is excellent and often our member’s training in the telecommunications area has proved essential for the outcome of rescue missions.

Recently, with a common effort, our branches all over Greece have gathered first aid material and equipment, which was sent to our branches in Kos and Mytilini, in order to be used for the refugees’ treatment.


Despite Our Enormous Effort

Despite our enormous effort, our assets and rescue equipment are extremely limited. Our volunteers’ will to help is great, whilst the problems are multiple. Of course, the greatest of them is the economic crisis that tortures the whole country during the last years.

The severe economic problems that most of our members are facing, in combination with the reduced funds and donations from individuals and companies have resulted in their difficulty regarding their participation in rescue missions.

Following the presentation of our Secretary General, Konstantinos Mitragas, and your discussion during the IMRF conference, in which you expressed interest in supporting our organization via IMRF’s members, we are describing below some of our needs, in which you could help us:

- The ideal help for us would be a life boat. As you may remember we only have four rescue ribs which are operating in the area of the Greek-Turkey coast and, of course, the use of one or more would be extremely useful.
We also need rescue equipment and specifically:
- Life jackets
- Helmets
- Dry suits
- Electronic equipment for life boats (navigation, safety, SAR)
- First Aid equipment for life boats

We assure you that your support will be extremely essential in our effort of saving human lives.

Read the Full Letter Below

Who Can Help?

To contact Hellenic Rescue Team, you can do so through the IMRF by e-mailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact HRT directly:

  Central Administration
  Em. Papa 5
Telephone: +30 2310 310 649 (24 hours)
Fax: +30 2310 888 702
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.hrt.org.gr

Contact Info

International Maritime Rescue Federation
50 Allardice Street
AB39 2RA
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 1569 767405

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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