The Central Command for Maritime Emergencies
On January 1st, 2003 the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME) (in German: Havariekommando) commenced operations. The CCME is a joint institution of the German Federal Government and the Federal Coastal States. It was established to set up and carry out a mutual maritime emergency management in the North Sea and in the Baltic Sea. It is based in Cuxhaven (Northwest Germany). The Central Command for Maritime Emergencies is headed by a federal official. During daily work routine the CCME consists of about 40 employees, working in five different sections.
The five sections are:
- Maritime Emergencies Reporting and Assessment Centre (MERAC)
- Marine Pollution Control / High Sea and Salvage Section
- Marine Pollution Control / Coastal Section
- Fire Fighting, Rescue and Medical Response Section
- Public Relations Section
During daily work routine the five sections form a "centre of competence", which deals with all questions related to maritime emergencies. In case of a Complex Emergency Situation, the staff is being alerted and called for to co-ordinate immediate action of all necessary forces under the auspices of the Federal Government and the Coastal States. Personnel from the CCME forms this "Central Casualty Command", which is organised in four units. The head of the CCME takes the captaincy of the staff. The section heads are supposed to take over most prominent tasks of the staff units.
Title: Every day organization (Centre of competence) and the operational organization (Casualty Command) of the CCME | Source: Havariekommando
These arrangements under a centralised command structure allow rapid and comprehensive control of all necessary operations in major maritime emergencies. The CCME hereby utilises personal, equipment and know-how of all authorities and institutions of the federal government, the coastal states and private organisations responsible for the sea and the coastal area.