Hellenic Coast Guard

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Hellenic Coast Guard
Hellenic Coast Guard Arms-rls.jpg
Coat of Arms of the Hellenic Coast Guard
Active 1919
Country  Greece
Type Coast Guard
Role Maritime law enforcement, paramilitary navy, search and rescue, sea pollution control
Size 7,000
Patron St. Nicholas
Colors Cyan, White & Gold             
Commandant Vice Admiral A. Athanasopoulos
Crossed anchors
Aircraft flown
Patrol Cessna 406 Caravan II
Transport Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Hellenic Coast Guard (Greek Λιμενικό Σώμα-Ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή - Limeniko Soma-Elliniki Aktofylaki - lit. "Port Corps-Hellenic Coast Guard") is the national coast guard of Greece. Like many other coast guards, it is a paramilitary organization that can support the Hellenic Navy in wartime, but resides under separate civilian control in times of peace. It was founded in 1919 by an Act of Parliament (N. 1753/1919) and the legal framework for its function was reformed in 1927. The current name is specified in Law 3022/2011.


Old ensign of the Hellenic Coast Guard (in use 1964-1980)

The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping. The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is headed by the Senior Coast Guard Officer who has the rank of Vice Admiral (Antinavarchos).

The basic roles of the Hellenic Coast Guard are law enforcement at sea, search and rescue, marine safety, preventing sea pollution, fisheries patrolling, preventing illegal immigration and drug interdiction.

In order to perform these roles, the Coast Guard operate a number of patrol boats of various sizes (6m to 60m) and different types (RIBs, coastal patrol boats, offshore patrol boats, lifeboats and pollution control vessels). On land the Hellenic Coast Guard is equipped with cars and motorcycles.

The Hellenic Coast Guard operates the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Piraeus and the Emergency Radio Communications Station SXE at Aspropyrgos (38°02′12.5″N 23°35′7.5″E / 38.036806°N 23.585417°E / 38.036806; 23.585417). The Hellenic Coast Guard also operates the Vessel Traffic Service (V.T.M.I.S.) at busy sea lanes, currently around the ports of Piraeus, Elefsis, Lavrion and Rafina.

Between May 21, 1964 and 1980 the Hellenic Coast Guard had its own special flag, which was derived from the Greek Ensign with the addition of the crossed anchors badge on the center of the white cross.[1]

Role and responsibilities[edit]

PLS-015 in port in Crete

The main activities of the Hellenic Coast Guard are defined in the present legislation and specified within its institutional framework of operation. These activities are the following:

  • Law enforcement at sea, ports and coastal areas. Prevention of illegal immigration. Surveillance of the sea, shipping, ports and borders.
  • Search and rescue at sea (jointly with the Hellenic Air Force, which is responsible for search and rescue by air).
  • Safety of navigation (with the exception of lighthouses, racons and buoys, which are constructed, purchased, installed and maintained by the Hellenic Navy Lighthouse Service).
  • Protection of the marine environment and response to marine pollution incidents.
  • Provision of emergency maritime radio communication services.[2]
  • Port operations (excluding port pilots service).
  • Representation of Greece in international organizations and the European Commission in matters related to these roles.


Most officers in recent years are graduates from higher education establishments, including the Merchant Marine Academies. After recruitment new officers study for one year at the Hellenic Naval Academy. Petty officers are trained for nine months at Palaskas Naval Training Centre and lower rank enlisted men are trained at Scholi Limenofylakon at Piraeus. With law Law 4029 of 2011, a volunteer Auxiliary Coast Guard was established.[3]

The Officers of the Hellenic Coast Guard have the same ranks as the Officers of the Hellenic Navy and similar insignia, replacing the curl with two crossed anchors. The Petty Officers (Ratings) also use rank insignia similar to those of the Hellenic Navy, replacing the speciality symbol with the crossed anchors badge.[4]

Officer Grade Structure of the Hellenic Coast Guard
OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
(no equivalent) Αντιναύαρχος
(Vice Admiral)
(Rear Admiral)
(Lt. Commander)
(Lieutenant junior grade)
(no equivalent)
NCO Rank Structure of the Hellenic Coast Guard
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
(Fleet Chief Petty Offcer)
Archikelefstis (Chief Petty Officer)
Epikelefstis (Petty Officer)
(Leading seaman)


Lambro PB-57 patrol boat ΛΣ-172 at Zea marina coast guard station, Piraeus
SAR-513, one of ten Arun 60 lifeboats operated by the Hellenic CG, at Zea marina coast guard station, Piraeus
Boston Whaler ΛΣ-798 patrol craft of the Hellenic Coast Guard, towed for a parade.

The following list of Hellenic CG vessels is incomplete, due to limited availability of published data. It is based mainly on the official HCG web site,[5] the Hellenic Defence Review 2006-2007,[6] Ισορροπία Δυνάμεων 2011-2012[7] and on some original research.

Model Type Length Displ. Origin In service Notes

Damen Stan patrol vessel 5509 OPV 58  The Netherlands 1 (on order) Ordered in July 2014 from B.V.Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem.
Dilos Patrol 29 100  Greece 6 Design by Abeking & Rasmussen ΛΣ-010, ΛΣ-020, ΛΣ-030, ΛΣ-040
Saar 4 Open Sea Patrol 58 450  Israel /  Greece 3[7] With 30 mm gun, no missiles fitted. ΛΣ-060, ΛΣ-070, ΛΣ-080
Vosper Europatrol 250 Mk1 Open Sea Patrol 47.3 240  United Kingdom 1 ΛΣ-050, ex Greek Customs
CB-90HCG Coastal Patrol 15.9 20  Sweden 3[7] ΛΣ-134, ΛΣ-135, ΛΣ-136
Arun Halmatic Lifeboats 16 37  United Kingdom 10 SAR-510
Lambro Halmatic 60 Lifeboats 18 37  Greece 10 SAR-511 to SAR-520
LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Coastal Patrol 17.4 m 35  Greece 35 ΛΣ-137 series, ΛΣ-601 series
LCS-53 (Lambro Guardian-53) Patrol 16.8 11  Greece 11 ΛΣ-114 series
Javelin-74 Patrol 19.2 27  Greece 3 ΛΣ-192 to ΛΣ-194 series
Olympic L65/74 Coastal Patrol 23  Greece 4 ΛΣ-102 series
System 33/Nemesis RIB RIB Coastal Patrol 10.35  Greece 10 Donated by Stavros Niarchos Foundation - http://www.elmon.com/products/defence-systems.html
D-45 Coastal Patrol 13.9 25  Greece 4
D-45M Coastal Patrol 13.9 25  Greece 5
Olympic L-44 Patrol 14 25  Greece 3 ΛΣ-153 series
MIL-38 Coastal Patrol 11.85 7  Greece 2
MIL-40 Coastal Patrol 13 7  Greece 2 ΛΣ-132, ΛΣ-133
Madera MRCD-1250 RIB Coastal Patrol 12,5  The Netherlands 2 To be delivered
Magna 110 Hurricane Mk.I/II RIB Coastal Patrol 10,8  Greece 2
Magna Onda Coastal Patrol 11.7 5.4  Greece 2
Super Onda Coastal Patrol 8.6 2.8  Greece 2
Magna 31 RIB Coastal Patrol 8.6 2.8  Greece 3 1 donated at 2014 by Dmitry Rybolovlev
Oceanic Interceptor RIB Coastal Patrol  Greece  ?
Gibli-1025 RIB Coastal Patrol 10,25  Greece 12
Oceanic 9000 Stealth RIB Coastal Patrol 9 2  Greece 18
Mostro Top Gun 864/964 RIB Coastal Patrol 9.3/9.9 1.4/1.6  Greece 19
Boston Whaler Coastal patrol, Diver support 9  USA 3 ΛΣ-798, ... Donated by the USCG in 2004.[8]
Halter Marine HSB Coastal patrol, Diver support  USA 1 ... Donated by the USCG in 2004
Wellcraft Coastal patrol, Diver support  USA 1 ... Donated by the USCG in 2004
LS-413 (LMPA) Pollution control 29 240  Spain 3 by Astilleros Gondan, Spain.[9][10]
Pollcat Pollution control 18.5 85 3
POB-24 Coastal patrol boat 24.6  Croatia 6 (on order) Ordered in April 2014[11] - Designed by Montmontaza Greben Ltd Shipyard

Aircraft fleet[edit]

Reims Cessna F-406 aircraft of the Hellenic Coast Guard
Socata TB-20 Trinidad single engine aircraft AC-3 of the Hellenic CG at Dekelia Air Base.

The Hellenic Coast Guard operates a small fleet of fixed wing aircraft based at Tatoi (Dekelia) Air Base, (LGTT, 38°06′35.1″N 23°46′55.5″E / 38.109750°N 23.782083°E / 38.109750; 23.782083). Its four AS.332 Super Puma Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters are operated by the Hellenic Air Force 384 Squadron, based at Elefsis Air Base (LGEL), with mixed Air Force and Coast Guard crews.

Aircraft ID Type Versions Origin In service[12] Notes
Cessna 172 Skyhawk AC-1, AC-2 utility 172RG  USA 2[7]
Cessna 406 Caravan II AC-21 to AC-23 maritime patrol F406  France 3[7] built by Reims
Eurocopter Super Puma SAR helicopter AS 332C  France 4[7] Operated by the Hellenic Air Force
Aérospatiale Dauphin HC-31 to HC-36 patrol helicopter AS 365N3  France 6[7] Based at Kotroni Naval Air Station (LGKN) in cooperation with Hellenic Navy
Socata TB AC-3, AC-4 utility TB 20  France 2[7]

HCG facilities[edit]

Coast guard vehicle
  1. New headquarters and VTMIS operations centre: 37°56′33″N 23°37′35″E / 37.94250°N 23.62639°E / 37.94250; 23.62639
  2. Old headquarters and SAR coordination centre: 37°56′23.5″N 23°38′55″E / 37.939861°N 23.64861°E / 37.939861; 23.64861
  3. Mooring for Open Sea Patrol Vessels (Keratsini): 37°57′25.7″N 23°36′39.7″E / 37.957139°N 23.611028°E / 37.957139; 23.611028
  4. Coast Guard apron at Tatoi Air Base: 38°06′35.1″N 23°46′55.5″E / 38.109750°N 23.782083°E / 38.109750; 23.782083
  5. Aspropyrgos Maritime Communications Radio Station SXE: 38°02′12.5″N 23°35′7.5″E / 38.036806°N 23.585417°E / 38.036806; 23.585417
  6. Piraeus Central Port Authority: 37°56′23″N 23°38′24″E / 37.93972°N 23.64000°E / 37.93972; 23.64000
  7. Enlisted men training facility (Σχολή Λιμενοφυλάκων): 37°56′10.3″N 23°37′40.4″E / 37.936194°N 23.627889°E / 37.936194; 23.627889
  8. Piraeus VTMIS AIS receiver 002393200 37°56.369′N 023°38.381′E / 37.939483°N 23.639683°E / 37.939483; 23.639683
  9. Psyttaleia Island VTMIS AIS receiver 002391100 37°56.620′N 23°35.664′E / 37.943667°N 23.594400°E / 37.943667; 23.594400
  10. Patras VTS 38°14′46″N 21°43′44″E / 38.24617°N 21.72886°E / 38.24617; 21.72886
  11. Thessaloniki VTS 40°38′17″N 22°55′31″E / 40.63802°N 22.92522°E / 40.63802; 22.92522
  12. Corfu Island VTS 39°37′37″N 19°54′20″E / 39.62708°N 19.90554°E / 39.62708; 19.90554
  13. Igoumenitsa VTS 39°29′17″N 20°15′32″E / 39.48799°N 20.25899°E / 39.48799; 20.25899
  14. Lavrion VTS 37°42′50″N 24°03′45″E / 37.71394°N 24.06252°E / 37.71394; 24.06252
  15. Rafina Port 38°01.347′N 24°0.522′E / 38.022450°N 24.008700°E / 38.022450; 24.008700


  1. ^ Photo of old Hellenic CG flag.
  2. ^ "Greece, Coast Radio Stations, Hellenic Coast Guard MRCC and MRSC" (PDF). The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. 2002. Retrieved 2008-07-02. [dead link]
  3. ^ Law 4029, Government Gazette A 245, 2011-11-22
  4. ^ Grade/rank insignia of the Hellenic CG (Ministry of Merchant Marine)
  5. ^ http://www.yen.gr/wide/yen.chtm?prnbr=24177
  6. ^ Hellenic Defence Review 2006-2007 (in Greek). Athens, Greece: Line Defence Ltd. 2006. p. 62. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h E. Pagotsis, ed. (May 2011). Ετήσια Ανασκόπηση Ισορροπία Δυνάμεων 2011-2012 (Annual Review Balance of Power 2011-2012. Athens, Greece: Dyros Ltd. p. 77. 
  8. ^ http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/34009.htm
  9. ^ "Antipollution vessel ALPHA" (PDF). Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 1994. 
  10. ^ "Astilleros Gondan Alfa". Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 2011. 
  11. ^ "Greek coastguard orders six coastal patrol craft". janes.com. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

External links[edit]