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Hellenic Coast Guard
File:Hellenic Coast Guard Arms-rls.jpg
Coat of Arms of the Hellenic Coast Guard
Active 1919
Country  Greece
Type Paramilitary
Role Coast Guard
Patron St. Nicholas
Commandant Vice Admiral D. Bantias
Ceremonial chief Vice Admiral K. Kounougeris
Deputy Commandant Vice Admiral D. Tsiadis
General Inspector Rear Admiral A. Athanasopoulos
Crossed anchors
Aircraft flown
Patrol Cessna 406 Caravan II
Transport Cessna 172 Skyhawk

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

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 most 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.


The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Marine and Aegean Sea. The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is headed by the Senior Coast Guard Officer who has the rank of Vice Admiral.

The basic roles of the Hellenic Coast Guard are law enforcement in sea, search and rescue, marine safety, pollution prevention in sea, fishery patrolling, prevention of the illegal immigration, 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 (RIB's, 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

PLS-015 in port in Crete

Saar 4 class

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 shipping, ports, sea space and borders.
  • Search and Rescue at Sea (jointly with the Hellenic Air Force, 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, 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.

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]

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


Lambro PB-57 patrol boat ΛΣ-601 at Zea Marina Coast Guard Station, Piraeus.

Boston Whaler ΛΣ-798 patrol craft of the Hellenic Coast Guard, towed for a parade.

SAR-513, one of ten Arun 60 lifeboats operated by the Hellenic CG, at Zea Marina Coast Guard Station, Piraeus.

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,[4] the Hellenic Defence Review 2006-2007,[5] Ισορροπία Δυνάμεων 2011-2012[6] and on some original research.

Model Type Length Displ. In service Notes
Dilos Patrol 29 100 6 Design by Abeking & Rasmussen ΛΣ-010, ΛΣ-020, ΛΣ-030, ΛΣ-040
Saar 4 Open Sea Patrol 58 450 3[6] With 30 mm gun, no missiles fitted. ΛΣ-060, ΛΣ-070, ΛΣ-080
Vosper Europatrol 250 Mk1 Open Sea Patrol 47.3 240 1 ΛΣ-050, ex Greek Customs
CB-90HCG Coastal Patrol 15.9 20 3[6] ΛΣ-134, ΛΣ-135, ΛΣ-136
Arun Halmatic Lifeboats 16 37 10 SAR-510
Lambro Halmatic 60 Lifeboats 18 37 10 SAR-511 to SAR-520
LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Coastal Patrol 17.4 m 25 35 ΛΣ-137 series, ΛΣ-601 series
LCS-53 (Lambro Sunquestor-53) Patrol 16.5 25 11 ΛΣ-114 series
Olympic L65/74 Coastal Patrol 23 4 ΛΣ-102 series
D-45 Coastal Patrol 13.9 25 4
D-45M Coastal Patrol 13.9 25 5
Olympic L-44 Patrol 14 25 3 ΛΣ-153 series
MIL-38 11.85 7 2
MIL-40 13 7 2 ΛΣ-132, ΛΣ-133
Magna Onda 11.7 5.4 2
Super Onda 8.6 2.8 2
Boston Whaler Coastal patrol, Diver support 9 3 ΛΣ-798, ... Donated by the USCG in 2004.[7]
LS-413 (LMPA) Pollution control 29 240 3 by Astilleros Gondan, Spain.[8][9]
Pollcat Pollution control 18.5 85 3

Aircraft inventory

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 / 38.10975°N 23.782083°E / 38.10975; 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 In service[10] Notes
Cessna 172 Skyhawk AC-1, AC-2 utility 172RG 2[6]
Cessna 406 Caravan II AC-21 to AC-23 maritime patrol F406 3[6] built by Reims
Eurocopter Super Puma SAR helicopter AS 332C 4[6] Operated by the Hellenic Air Force
Aérospatiale Dauphin HC-31 to HC-36 patrol helicopter AS 365N3 6[6] Based at Kotroni Naval Air Station (LGKN) in cooperation with Hellenic Navy
Socata TB AC-3, AC-4 utility TB 20 2[6]

HCG facilities

  1. New headquarters and VTMIS operations centre: 37°56′33″N 23°37′35″E / 37.9425°N 23.62639°E / 37.9425; 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 / 38.10975°N 23.782083°E / 38.10975; 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 23.64°E / 37.93972; 23.64
  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 / 37.94367°N 23.5944°E / 37.94367; 23.5944
  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 / 38.02245°N 24.0087°E / 38.02245; 24.0087


  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. Grade/rank insignia of the Hellenic CG (Ministry of Merchant Marine)
  5. (in greek) Hellenic Defence Review 2006-2007. Athens, Greece: Line Defence Ltd. 2006. p. 62. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 E. Pagotsis, ed (May 2011). Ετήσια Ανασκόπηση Ισορροπία Δυνάμεων 2011-2012 (Annual Review Balance of Power 2011-2012. Athens, Greece: Dyros Ltd. pp. 77. 
  8. "Antipollution vessel ALPHA" (PDF). Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 1994. 
  9. "Astilleros Gondan Alfa". Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 2011. 
  10. "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

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