The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard


  • 18.08.15

    Non-stop swimming along the whole of the 67 kilometres-long Belgian coast. That is what swimmer Jean-Luc Piens hopes to achieve. Weather-permitting, he will begin his challenge around midnight during the night from August 21st to 22nd in the coastal municipality of De Panne, to arrive approximately 24 hours later in Knokke-Heist.

    Jean-Luc takes up this callenge in aid of a good cause, the Kinderkankerfonds (fund for children with cancer).

    Because such a swimming trip is not without risk, a number of our coast guard partners, the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre, Fleet and the Maritime&River Police, together with IKWV (Coastal Rescue) will be keeping an eye on the swimmer and his escort team to guarantee their safety.

    More information on

  • 17.08.15

    - go to the life guards
     - when you cannot find a life guard, dial the emergency number 112 or contact the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) at 0032(0)59/70 10 00
     - mention clearly to the life guard/emergency services where you have last seen your child, their name, age, colour of swimming suit and any other information which may be helpful

    Do not forget to go and fetch you free wristbands. Your kids can choose between the animation figures of Maya the Bee and Wickie the Viking. Fill in the name of your child, the location and your mobile phone number, so lost children can be reunited quickly with their parents.

    On the beach you can get the wristbands from the lifesavers and there is always a bag with wristbands to be found at the bottom of the lifesavers' chair. You can also get the wristbands at the tourism offices, the first aid posts or the newspaper shops along the coast.

  • 10.08.15

    The governor of West-Flanders is nominated as the receiver of underwater cultural heritage. This means that it is mandatory to report all findings to the governor. The receiver is required to record these findings in an electronic inventory and he has to provide advice concerning whether the finding can be regarded as underwater cultural heritage.

    Go to for more information. The website also allows you to report your findings and to browse the inventory. This project is a collaboration between the governor of West- Flanders, the Flemish Heritage Agency and Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).

  • 30.07.15
    Autocollant MRCC

    Call the emergency number 112 or contact the MRCC (Maritime Rescue– and Coordination Centre) in Ostend:
    • Phone: 0032(0)59/70 11 00 of 0032(0)59/70 10 00
    • Fax: 0032(0)59/70 36 05
    • VHF Channel 16 – Channel 67

  • 24.07.15

    Not necessarily. Healthy seals need their daily dose of sun. It is important that they can rest, so do not get to close to them and keep dogs on a leash, so as not to disturb the seals.

    A sick seal looks frail and listless and will stay put, even when you come closer. Keep your distance and definitely do not touch the seal. When feeling threatened, it can bite you and transfer germs. Call the  Sea Life Centre Blankenberge: 0032 (0)50 42 43 00.

    The Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM) keeps a database with sightings and beachings of seals and other sea mammals.


  • 23.07.15

    On the tentacles of a jellyfish venomonous cells are located. When being touched, jellyfish inject these cells containing venom into the victim.  Depending on the type of jellyfish and the victim's sensitivity, the pain can be less or more severe. Usually being stung by jellyfish on our coast is not dangerous or mortal.

    When you have been stung, carefully remove any parts of tentacles which may have been left on the skin. Do this by rinsing the wound with salt water (not fresh water). Avoid rubbing the wound! Rinsing with salt water or applying a cold compress may help to relieve the pain. In case of severe discomfort, painkillers may prove necessary.
    Take care: even beached and dying jellyfish can still sting when touched!

    Thanks to Francis Kerckhof, RBIN/OD Nature

  • 16.07.15

    It is not necessary to share your pack of french fries or your portion of fresh shrimp with seagulls. They do have food enough. If they are constantly fed by humans, they will no longer go find food themselves. They will tear garbage bags open which causes the street to be full of litter and which attracts vermin. Rooftops, cars and sidewalks are covered in seagull excrement. Moreover, seagulls are known to come and steal food out of people's hands, which can prove dangerous, especially for small children.

    Did you know that is forbidden by law to feed seagulls? If you go ahead and do it anyway, you risk a heavy fine in most coastal municipalities along the Belgian coast.

  • 14.07.15
    Bezoek Douane Rouen

    9 and 10 July, the coast guard secretaries, together with a delegation of the Belgian customs, were invited by the French customs for a visit in order to get better acquainted. They had the opportunity to embark on the French patrol vessel DF P1 "Jacques Oudart Fourmentin" and to visit the operational centre in Rouen. The goal of this visit was to exchange best practices and start up initiatives in order to renew the cooperation between French and Belgian Customs.

  • 14.07.15

    The Secretary of State for the North Sea, Bart Tommelein, visited the oceanographic vessel RV (Research Vessel) Belgica, on the 10th of July 2015. He wanted to see how oceanographic research is conducted during a one day trip.

    The Federal Science Policy Office is the owner of RV Belgica. The ship is available for scientists who wish to carry out marine scientific research. Our coastguard partner the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS)' OD Nature is responsible for the ship's budget, scientific equipment and the planning of scientific campaigns. They work together with another coastguard partner, the ministry of Defense, which provides the crew, operational support and a mooring in the home port of Zeebrugge.

    The RV Belgica is at sea for up to two hundred days a year and different teams work on it day and night, both national and international. The ship is a 50.9 metre long floating laboratory and monitors the quality of the North Sea by constantly collecting all kinds of data about the biological, chemical, physical, geological and hydrodynamic processes which occur.The RV Belgica has watched over the North Sea nonstop for 30 years, however, after 30 years a new research ship is needed to keep the North Sea protected. More information: How Big is Belgica.


  • 09.07.15

    Go to your local police station or the police station where the vessel was stolen to report the theft as soon as possible. Bring all the documents that may prove useful: invoices, proof of insurance, proof of property and copies of shipping documents. Also mention anything that may provide a lead: information on equipment, means of communication on board, identity of the passengers, intended route, ports of call and final destination.