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First annual Maritime Incident Response Cobra Experience Meeting held at the Havariekommando, Cuxhaven, DE

In mid-November some twenty officers and professionals engaged in fire and rescue marine response met at the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (Havariekommando) at Cuxhaven, Germany. The purpose and intent with the meeting was to share experience and discuss tactics, logistics and organization with respect maritime incident response and the cutting extinguisher marine concept.

The gathering was initiated by Dave Sheppard, East Sussex FRS and FRMR, looking for experience in the field. The experts of implementation and tactics are of course the users of the Cobra, and when the Havariekommando was asked host an exchange in experience, they opened their doors.

The venue of the day was at the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger. A lot of interesting presentations were made; the evolution of MIRG to FRMR in the UK, The MSC Flaminia incident, Swedish Coast Guard Cobra organization, Experience from land based firefighting with bearing on Offshore, Background on the Cobra Navy unit and the cooperation with the Swedish Navy. In addition, a few improvised presentations were staged.

The event was a success, with participants from three coastal counties in England, two from the Netherlands and three coastal communities in Germany. In addition, Smit Salvage, Danish Emergency Management Agency and Swedish Coast Guard attended the meeting.

In addition to the experience shared, the networking and the in-person meeting added to the value. Thus the group agreed to meet again soon, and there were several organizations that volunteered for hosting the group next time.