Successful Norwegian-Russian joint emergency drills

The annual emergency exercise Barents gets more and more complex for each year, participants say. Photo:

The annual joint Norwegian-Russian emergency exercise Barents-2012 was arranged in the border areas in the Varanger Fjord this week.


The exercise consisted of two main parts – emergency help to a vessel in distress with subsequent search and rescue drills, and clean-up of oil spills.

Seven vessels and four aircraft and helicopters from both countries took part in this year’s exercise, including the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel “KV Svalbard”, the rescue tug SB-523 from the Northern Fleet, the rescue tug “Atriya” from the Russian Fisheries’ Commission and the Russian Coast Guard vessel “Zapolyarye”.

Exercise Barents has been conducted annually since 1994. The traditional main partners in these exercises are the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Northern Norway in Bodø and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Murmansk

First onshore clean-up drills
The exercise Barents is usually held in the waters of the Varanger Fjord on the border between Norway and Russia. This year the drills for the first time included onshore oil cleaning. 

“The increased activity in the north means that the risk of getting oil spills on the shore here in the border area is relatively high”, says Kjersti Dahle from the Coastal Administration to NRK. “It is important that the two countries train together, in order to evaluated the resources we have and how well we can cooperate”, she adds.   

Watch video from the oil cleaning drill on NRK.