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Hristo Alexiev: Bulgaria will have its own specialized search and rescue ship

Minister Hristo Alexiev met with representatives of the Technical University of Varna

A procedure for design and construction of a Bulgarian specialized search and rescue ship has been launched. This is what the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Hristo Alexiev stated in the framework of a meeting with Veselin Milanov, Assistant Rector of the Technical University of Varna and Capt. Andrey Stanev, an expert in marine technology at the Technical University and captain of the rescue tugboat of BMF-Varna, which participated in the rescue operation of Vera Su.

Minister Alexiev pointed out that the plans are to finance the construction of the ship with funds from the Transport Connectivity Program 2021-2027 and the project had been already included in the scope of the program, which was sent to Brussels for approval. At the beginning of 2022, the procedure will be announced by the Maritime Administration Executive Agency. "This ship will be used not only for rescue operations, but also for research and training of students", the Minister explained.

The representatives of the Technical University of Varna, which was an active partner of the State during the rescue operation of Vera Su and Minister Alexiev discussed the preparation of terms of reference for the design of the vessel. According to Veselin Milanov, the University has the capacity to train students in the field of emergency rescue. The rescue operation will be taught to students from the Bachelor's And Master's Programs at the Naval Academy and the Technical University of Varna.

The academic institution stated its readiness to create a Master's Degree in Emergency Rescue, where students would be able to train as professional surveyors. "After the successful implementation of the rescue operation of Vera Su, which several international companies said they could conduct in the spring of 2022 at the earliest, the Bulgarian State managed to cope with its own forces and means. We would like this experience to be studied and passed on to students in the future", Capt. Andrey Stanev said.

For this purpose, a curriculum is currently being prepared and a movie with footage from the drones of the European Maritime Safety Agency is being made, through which each stage of the rescue operation will be shown in detail to future savers.

In the framework of the meeting Capt. Stanev invited Minister Alexiev to jointly organize a National Round Table to bring together educational institutions, the State and business entities. The goal is to hold the event in December the current year.