Health and Safety at Sea
Ensuring the health and safety of workers in the fishing industry, not least on board fishing vessels operating in the rough seas of the Northeast Atlantic, has top priority in the Faroe Islands.
According to Faroese law, all seafarers who crew Faroese ships must have an approved sea safety certificate from a certified sea safety course, which must be renewed at least every five years, as well as a valid health clearance. The Faroese Maritime Authority is responsible for ensuring that vessels fulfil all relevant requirements for health and safety on board in accordance with national and international standards.
The Safety Centre situated in the town of Klaksvík is responsible for sea safety and is approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The Centre was established in 1999 to address safety requirements as stipulated in Faroese legislation on the manning of ships. Safety courses conducted at the Centre comply with the international Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping, as amended under IMO in 1995. The Safety Centre is the national representative for the Faroe Islands in the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST). The Safety Centre is part of the Maritime School (Sjónám).
Search and rescue at sea
Search and Rescue (SAR) services in Faroese waters are coordinated by MRCC Tórshavn (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), which was established in 2002 and operates under the authority of the Ministry of Fisheries . The Faroese Inspection and Rescue Service, which cooperates closely with the Danish navy, assists MRCC Tórshavn in the practical implementation of rescue services with two coastguard vessels, a patrol boat and two helicopters at its disposal. MRCC Tórshavn cooperates with Search and Rescue Centres in Norway, Denmark, the UK, Iceland and in Greenland in accordance with international conventions under the UN and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Tórshavn Radio provides 24 hour monitoring with the responsibility for distress, urgency and safety in Faroese waters.
The Faroe Islands and the IMO
The Faroe Islands are an Associate Member of the International Maritime Organization, the specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships. The Faroese Maritime Authority is the agency responsible for coordinating Faroese participation in IMO and ensuring the implementation and monitoring of IMO requirements for responsible shipping and international maritime safety standards in the Faroe Islands.