Hellenic Coast Guard

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Hellenic Coast Guard
Hellenic Coast Guard Logo.svg
Hellenic Coast Guard badge
Country Greece
TypeCoast guard
RoleCoastal defence
maritime law
Size8,000 personnel
Equipment240 vessels
CommandantVice Admiral Theodoros Kliaris
FlagHellenic Coast Guard House Flag.svg
Racing stripeHellenic Coast Guard racing stripe.svg
Aircraft flown
HelicopterAS365 Dauphin
AS332 Super Puma
PatrolCessna 172
Cessna F406

The Hellenic Coast Guard (Greek Λιμενικό Σώμα-Ελληνική ΑκτοφυλακήLimeniko 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.


Flag of the Hellenic Coast Guard flown in front of the Coast Guard offices in Rethymno Harbour.

The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, which 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.

Role and responsibilities[edit]

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.[1]
  • 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 four years at the Hellenic Naval Academy. Petty officers are trained for two years at Palaskas Naval Training Centre and lower rank enlisted men are trained at Scholi Limenofylakon at Piraeus, for a duration of two years. With law Law 4029 of 2011, a volunteer Auxiliary Coast Guard was established.[2] 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.[3]

Ranks and Insignia[edit]

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)
(Lieutenant Commander)
(Sub Lieutenant)
(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
(Warrant Officer)
Archikelefstis (Master Chief Petty Officer)
Epikelefstis (Senior Chief Petty Officer)
(Chief petty officer)
(Harbor Guard/ Seaman)


As of 2015, the structure of the Hellenic Coast Guard predicts a fleet consisting of five Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) sized 45–60 metres in length and of 300-450 tonnes displacement, six to twelve Patrol boats with lengths of 25–30 metres and more than fifty Coastal Patrol Vessels of various types with lengths of 14–20 metres.[5][6] In addition the Hellenic Coast Guard operates a large number of fast Rigid-Inflatable Boat (RIB)/Special Forces vessels as well as eleven Lifeboats. Currently the Hellenic Coast Guard fleet in its totality consists of approximately 240 vessels of all types.[citation needed]

Model & Class Photo Type Length (m) Displacement (tonnes) Origin Year


In service Notes
Stan Patrol 5509 / Gavdos OPV 58,5 565  The Netherlands 2015 1 Vessel ΛΣ-090, built by Damen shipyards and delivered in October 2015 with more than 82,5% funding of EU's External Borders Fund. Weapon systems of choice to be installed are still unspecified.
Speed of 27-30 knots.
Sa'ar 4.5 / Fourni
Saar IV class Open sea patrol boat PLS-060 (ΛΣ-060), SY4138, under way in Saronikos Bay.
OPV 58 400  Israel Greece 2003/2004 3 Vessels ΛΣ-060, ΛΣ-070 built in Israel (2003) and ΛΣ-080 built in Greece (2004) are weapon-downsized/modified FACs, each fitted with an OTO Breda 30mm/70 gun as main armament and two remote controlled 0.50" heavy machine guns but without anti-ship missiles. Acquired prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Speed of 34.5 knots.


Vosper Europatrol 250 Mk1 / Arkoi OPV 47.3 300  United Kingdom 2002 1 Vessel ΛΣ-050 was originally bought by Financial Crime Prosecution Authorities in 1994 and transferred on HCG in 2002, in which remained decommissioned due mechanical problems. In 2014 underwent significant maintenance and repairs and entered active service again following donations from "Aikaterini Laskaridi" Foundation.[8] The boat can be armed with 40mm gun as main weapon system.
Speed of 40 knots.
Cantiere Navale Vittoria P355 GR / Marinos Zampatis OPV 36.3 160  Italy 2020/ 2/4 Three ships order on January 2019, plus one option on July 2019 with 90% EU funding. Two of them were received at December 2020, starting replacement of the older Dilos (Abeking) class. They will be fitted with 2x0,50 LRCWS -Light Remotely Controlled Weapon Stations.
Vessels ΛΣ-900 and ΛΣ-910. Speed of 40 knots.
Abeking & Rasmussen / Class Dilos (Δήλος)
Patrol boat ΛΣ-015 of Dilos class in port in Crete.
Patrol 29 86  Greece 1977/1978

under decommissioning

6 Vessels ΛΣ-010, ΛΣ-015, ΛΣ-020, ΛΣ-025, ΛΣ-030 and ΛΣ-040, all six boats are currently under decommissioning by Marinos Zampatis class; design by Abeking & Rasmussen built by ENAE shipyards.
Speed of 27 knots.
POB-24G / Class Faiakas (Φαίακας) Patrol 24.6  Croatia 2015 2 Vessels ΛΣ-617 and ΛΣ-618 have been delivered. The remaining four (4) boats (type POB-24G) of the initial order[9] will not be delivered following legal action of HCG against the manufacturer. Vessel ΛΣ-618 is equipped with an EMILY robotic SAR device. Each of the boats of the class will bear a .50" heavy machine gun.

Speed of 32 knots.

LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Mk.II
Patrol boat ΛΣ-607 Motomarine LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Mk.I.
Patrol 19.2 27  Greece 2002/2003 16 Vessels ΛΣ-601 to ΛΣ-616.
Built by Motomarine-Greece.

Speed 50+ knots.

Javelin-74 Coastal Patrol 19.2 27  Greece 2002 3 Vessels ΛΣ-192, ΛΣ-193 and ΛΣ-194
Speed of 50+ knots.
LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Mk.I
Coastal patrol boat ΛΣ-172 Motomarine LCS-57 Mk.II at Zea marina coast guard station, Piraeus.
Coastal Patrol 18.2 28  Greece 1998/1999 19 Vessels ΛΣ-137 to ΛΣ-151 and ΛΣ-169 to ΛΣ-172.
Built by Motomarine-Greece.

Speed 44 knots.

LCS-53 (Lambro-53 Guardian) Coastal Patrol 16.8 21  Greece 1992/1994 11 Vessels ΛΣ-114 to ΛΣ-126.
Built by Motomarine-Greece.

Speed 33 knots.

Fabio Buzzi Design 56SF FB 56SF Image Patrol / HCG Special Forces 16,10  Italy 0/15 15 Fabio Buzzi 56F patrol boats have been ordered (Jan 2020), to be delivered by 2023. [10][11]

Speed over 50 knots.

CB-90HCG Patrol / HCG Special Forces 15.9 18.5  Sweden 1999 3 Combat boats by Dockstavarvet, each armed with two twin remote controlled 0.50" heavy machine guns and carry level IV armor plates.
Vessels ΛΣ-134 to ΛΣ-136. Allocated to the HCG's Special Forces (Ionian Islands)

Speed of 45 knots. [7]

Olympic D65/74 Coastal Patrol 22.5 30  Greece 1973 - under decommissioning 4 Olympic line is under decommissioning. Unknown number of boats still in service for secondary tasks / ΛΣ-102 series
Olympic D-45M Coastal Patrol 13.9 25  Greece 1973 - under decommissioning 5 Olympic line is under decommissioning. Unknown number of boats still in service for secondary tasks
Olympic D-45 Coastal Patrol 13.9 25  Greece 1973 - under decommissioning 4 Olympic line is under decommissioning. Unknown number of boats still in service for secondary tasks
Olympic D-44 Coastal Patrol 13.4 25  Greece 1973 - under decommissioning 3 Olympic line is under decommissioning. Unknown number of boats still in service for secondary tasks / ΛΣ-153 series
Wellcraft Coastal Patrol / HCG Special Forces  USA 2004 1 Donated by the USCG in 2004.

Vessel ΛΣ-797 allocated to the HCG's Seals.

Madera MRCD-1250 MRCD-1250 Image Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 12,5  The Netherlands 2 Military grade boats for HCG's Seals, able to carry 10-12 troops each. Armed with 0.50" gun and two 7.62mm machine guns. Speed of 49 knots.
MIL-40 Fabio Buzzi Patrol / HCG Special Forces 12.2 7  Italy 1997/1999 2 Vessels ΛΣ-132 and ΛΣ-133. Allocated to the HCG's Special Forces (Ionian islands)
Speed of 50-55 knots.
Magna Onda Patrol / HCG Special Forces 11.7 5.4  Greece 1987 2 Allocated to the HCG's Special Forces (Aegean islands)

Speed of 52 knots

Halter Marine HSB Patrol / HCG Special Forces 11.6  USA 2004 1 Donated by the USCG in 2004
MIL-38 Fabio Buzzi Patrol / HCG Special Forces 11.58 7  Italy 1997/1999 2 Vessels ΛΣ-129 and ΛΣ-130 allocated to the HCG's Special Forces (Aegean islands)
Speed of 50-55 knots.
Rafnar 1100 Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 11,5 4  Greece Iceland 2020/2021 10 Donation from the 'Union of Greek Shipowners'. Icelandic design, built by RAFNAR Hellas under licence. Vessels ΛΣ-1054 to ΛΣ-1063.

Speed of 50+ knots.[12]

Magna 110 Hurricane Mk.I/II Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 10,8  Greece 2013 2 ΛΣ-1002, ΛΣ-1005
System 33/Nemesis RIB[13] Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 10.35  Greece 2014 10 All vessels are donation by SNF having speed of 50+ knots.
Oceanic Interceptor Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces  Greece 2004 ? Allocated to the HCG's Seals.
Super Onda Patrol / HCG Special Forces 8.6 2.8  Greece 1987 2 Allocated to the HCG's Special Forces (Aegean islands)

Speed of 52 knots

Boston Whaler, Outrage-280
Boston Whaler ΛΣ-798 patrol craft towed for a parade.
Patrol / HCG Special Forces 8.34 3  USA 2004 3 Allocated to the HCG's Special Forces at Piraeus.

ΛΣ-798, ΛΣ-799 and ΛΣ-800. Donated by the USCG in 2004.[14]

Gibli-1025 Coastal Patrol RIB 10,25  Greece 2001 12 Vessels ΛΣ-3xx
Mostro Top Gun 964 Coastal Patrol RIB 9.9 1.6  Greece 1997 8 Vessels ΛΣ-2xx
Mostro Top Gun 864 Coastal Patrol RIB 9.3 1.4  Greece 1992 11 Vessels ΛΣ-2xx
Oceanic 9000 Stealth Coastal Patrol RIB 9 2  Greece 1998/1999 18 Vessels ΛΣ-3xx
Magna 31 Coastal Patrol RIB 8.6 2.8  Greece 2013 2 ΛΣ-1003, ΛΣ-1004
Viking Norsafe Munin S1200 Ext.Cabin Ambulance Vessel 12 7  Greece Norway 2020/ 3/8 Built by Viking Norsafe Hellas.

Vessels ΛΣ-1064 to ΛΣ-1066 allocated to Greek islands. Speed of 40 knots.

Lambro Halmatic 60
SAR-513, one of ten Halmatic 60, at Zea marina coast guard station, Piraeus
Lifeboat 18 37  Greece 1999 10 Vessels' series Ν/Γ-511 to Ν/Γ-520
Arun Halmatic Lifeboat 16 37  United Kingdom 1992 1 Vessel Ν/Γ-510
LMPA-29 Pollution control 29 240  Greece  Spain 1994 5 Built by Motomarine - Greece. Designed by Astilleros Gondan - Spain.[15][16] Vessels ΛΣ-413 to ΛΣ-417
Pollcat Pollution control 19 85  Denmark 1999 4 by Desmi, Denmark. Vessels ΛΣ-418 to ΛΣ-421

Aircraft fleet[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Aircraft Photo ID Type Versions Origin Year acquired In service[17] Notes
Eurocopter Super Puma
Combat SAR Super Puma at the open day at Tatoi-Dekelia AFB.
SAR helicopter AS 332C  France 4 The aircraft belongs to the Hellenic Air Force and is also used by the Coast Guard


Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin HC-31 to HC-36 Patrol helicopter AS 365N3  France 2003 6 Based at Kotroni Naval Air Station (LGKN) in cooperation with Hellenic Navy


Cessna 406 Caravan II
Reims Cessna F-406 aircraft of the Hellenic Coast Guard
AC-21 to AC-23 Maritime patrol F406  France 2000 3 Built by Reims


Socata TB
Socata TB-20 Trinidad single engine aircraft AC-3 of the Hellenic CG at Dekelia Air Base.
AC-3, AC-4 Utility aircraft TB 20  France 1985 2 [7]
Cessna 172 Skyhawk AC-1, AC-2 Utility aircraft 172RG  USA 1981 2 [7]

HCG facilities[edit]

  1. New headquarters and VTMIS operations centre (Pireaus): 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 (Pireaus): 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. ^ "Greece, Coast Radio Stations, Hellenic Coast Guard MRCC and MRSC" (PDF). The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  2. ^ Law 4029, Government Gazette A 245, 2011-11-22
  3. ^ "Grade/rank insignia of the Hellenic CG (Ministry of Merchant Marine)". Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  4. ^ http://www.hcg.gr/sites/default/files/pages/diakritika.jpg[dead link]
  5. ^ "Ο Στόλος του Λιμενικού Σώματος /Ελληνικής Ακτοφυλακής το 2015". Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  6. ^ Επιχειρησιακά μέσα Εκτύπωση (Business Media Printing)Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c d e f g 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. ^ "Τελετή Απόδοσης σε Ενέργεια του Πλοίου Ανοιχτής Θαλάσσης Λιμενικού Σώματος (ΠΑΘ/ΛΣ)050". 10 December 2015. Retrieved December 2015. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ "Greek coastguard orders six coastal patrol craft". janes.com. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  10. ^ "New FB 56' SF model for the Hellenic Coast Guard". www.fbdesign.it. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  11. ^ Archus, Dorian (2020-02-02). "FB Design to build 15 patrol boats for Hellenic Coast Guard". Naval News. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  12. ^ "Shipowners donate 10 high-speed boats Rafnar to Greek Coast Guard". Keep Talking Greece. 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  13. ^ "ELMON - DEFENCE SYSTEMS". www.elmon.com. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  14. ^ "We're sorry, that page can't be found". www.state.gov. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Antipollution vessel ALPHA" (PDF). Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 1994.
  16. ^ "Astilleros Gondan Alfa". Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 2011.
  17. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

External links[edit]