The Hellenic Coast Guard (Greek: Λιμενικό Σώμα-Ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή, romanizedLimeniko Soma-Elliniki Aktofylaki, lit.'Harbor 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. The officers and the enlisted members of the Coast Guard are regarded as military personnel under Military's Penal Code.[2] It was founded in 1919 by an Act of Parliament (Law No. 1753–1919) and the legal framework for its function was reformed in 1927. Its primary mission is the enforcement of Greek, European and International law in the maritime areas.[3]

Harbor Corps-Hellenic Coast Guard
Λιμενικό Σώμα-Ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή
Limeniko Soma-Elliniki Aktofylaki
Hellenic Coast Guard badge
Hellenic Coast Guard badge
Racing stripe
Racing stripe
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionGreece
Constituting instruments
  • Law No. 1753/1919
  • Law No. 3922/2011[1]
Specialist jurisdiction
  • Coastal patrol, marine border protection, marine search and rescue.
Operational structure
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • Vice Admiral Georgios Alexandrakis, Commandant
  • Vice Admiral Alexandros Tselikis, First Deputy Commandant
  • Vice Admiral Aristeidis Pantazoglou, Second Deputy Commandant
Parent agencyMinistry of Shipping and Insular Policy
Boats240 vessels
Fixed wing aircraft
HelicoptersEurocopter AS365 Dauphin
Colors : Cyan, White & Gold    

Historically, it is very closely associated with the Greek shipping industry; many Coast Guard officers retire early to find employment in Greek and international companies owned by Greek ship-owners.[4]

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:[1][3]

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).[6] On land the Hellenic Coast Guard is equipped with 634 vehicles, including patrol vehicles, cars and motorcycles, buses and mini vans, trucks and tanker.[7] The Coast Guard also operate seven airplanes and six helicopters.[8]

Organization edit

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

The Hellenic Coast Guard is under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy,[9] which is headed by a commandant and assisted by two deputy commandants who all have the rank of vice admiral (Antinavarchos). As of 2022, Georgios Alexandrakis serves as Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard..[10]

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.

Personnel edit

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 (Greek: Σχολή Λιμενoφυλάκων, romanizedSxoli Limenofilakon) at Piraeus, for a duration of two years. With law Law 4029 of 2011, a volunteer Auxiliary Coast Guard was established.[11] 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.[12]

Ranks and insignia edit

Commissioned officers edit

NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
  Hellenic Coast Guard[12]
Vice Admiral
Rear Admiral
Lieutenant Commander

NCOs and enlisted edit

NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
  Hellenic Coast Guard[12]
Warrant Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
Petty Officer

Fleet edit

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 tons displacement, six to twelve Patrol boats with lengths of 25–30 meters and more than fifty Coastal Patrol Vessels of various types with lengths of 14–20 meters.[13][14] 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 240-250 vessels of all types.[15][16] In August 2023 the Hellenic Coast Guard ordered 31 Munin S1200 patrol boats and three Metis high-speed RHIBs.[17] 5 Finnish-built fast patrol boats "Watercat 2000 Patrol" were ordered in early November 2023.[18]

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


In service Notes
Stan Patrol 5509 / Class 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 / Class Fourni
OPV 58 400   Israel  Greece 2003 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 / Class Arkoi   OPV 47.3 300   United Kingdom 2002 1 Vessel ΛΣ-050 was originally bought by Financial Crime Prosecution Authorities in 1994 and transferred to 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.[20] The boat can be armed with 40mm gun as main weapon system.
Speed of 40 knots.
Cantiere Navale Vittoria P355 GR / Class Marinos Zampatis   OPV 36.3 160   Italy 2020 4 Three ships ordered in January 2019, with a plus one option, exercised in July 2019 (90% EU funding). The first two were received in December 2020 and the fourth in January 2022 and will replace the older Dilos (Abeking) class. They will be fitted with 2x0.50 LRCWS - Light Remotely Controlled Weapon Stations.
Vessels ΛΣ-900, ΛΣ-910, ΛΣ-920 and ΛΣ-930. Speed of 40 knots.
Abeking & Rasmussen / Class Dilos (Δήλος)
Patrol 29 86   Greece 1977

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 50   Croatia 2015 2 Vessels ΛΣ-617 and ΛΣ-618 have been delivered. The remaining four (4) boats (type POB-24G) of the initial order[21] 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.

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.II
Coastal Patrol 19.2 27   Greece 2002 16 Vessels ΛΣ-601 to ΛΣ-616.
Built by Motomarine-Greece.

Speed 50+ knots.

LCS-57 (Lambro-57) Mk.I
Coastal Patrol 18.2 28   Greece 1998 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 11 Vessels ΛΣ-114 to ΛΣ-126.
Built by Motomarine-Greece.

Speed 33 knots.

Fabio Buzzi Design 56SF 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.[22][23]

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. [19]

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 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 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 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 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.[24]

Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 11 7.9   USA 2022 2 Donated by the US in May 2022 along with 4 more to the Hellenic Navy.

Speed 45 knots.

Magna 110 Hurricane Mk.I/II Patrol RIB / HCG Special Forces 10,8   Greece 2013 2 ΛΣ-1002, ΛΣ-1005
System 33/Nemesis RIB[25]
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
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.[26]

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 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 7/15 Built by Viking Norsafe Hellas.

Vessels ΛΣ-1064 to ΛΣ-1070 allocated to Greek islands. Speed of 40 knots.

Lambro Halmatic 60
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.[27][28] Vessels ΛΣ-413 to ΛΣ-417
Pollcat Pollution control 19 85   Denmark   United Kingdom 1999 4 Built by Manor Marine, Portland.[29] Designed 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).

Aircraft Photo ID Type Versions Origin Year acquired In service[30] Notes
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   AC-21 to AC-23 Maritime patrol F406   France 2000 3 Built by Reims


Socata TB
AC-3, AC-4 Utility aircraft TB 20   France 1985 2 [8][19]
Cessna 172 Skyhawk AC-1, AC-2 Utility aircraft 172RG   USA 1981 2 [8][19]
IAI Heron 1
UC-01 UAV Heron 1   Israel 2022 1 [31]

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

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Σύσταση Αρχηγείου Λιμενικού Σώματος - Ελληνικής Ακτοφυλακής και άλλες διατάξεις" [Establishment of the Coast Guard Headquarters - Hellenic Coast Guard and other provisions]. Law No. 3922 of 2011 (in Greek).
  2. ^ "Ανασυγκρότηση του Υπουργείου Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου και άλλες διατάξεις" [Reorganization of the Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean and other provisions]. Article 4, Law No. 4150 of 2013 (in Greek). Translated English Version
  3. ^ a b "Roles and Responsibilities". Hellenic Coast Guard. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  4. ^ Theotokas, Giannes & Harlaftis, Gelina (2007). Greek ship-owners and shipping businesses: organization, strategy and administration (in Greek). pp. 399–401.
  5. ^ "Greece, Coast Radio Stations, Hellenic Coast Guard MRCC and MRSC" (PDF). The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Vessels". Hellenic Coast Guard. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Vehicles". Hellenic Coast Guard. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Aircraft". Hellenic Coast Guard. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  9. ^ "102 Χρόνια από την Ίδρυση του Λιμενικού Σώματος (1919-2021)" [102 Years since the Foundation of the Coast Guard (1919-2021)]. Hellenic Coast Guard (in Greek). 14 October 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  10. ^ "The Leadership of HCG". Hellenic Coast Guard. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  11. ^ "θελοντισμός στο Λιμενικό Σώμα − Ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή και στο Πυροσβεστικό Σώμα και άλλες διατάξεις." [Volunteering in the Coast Guard - Hellenic Coast Guard and the Fire Brigade and other provisions]. Law No. 4029 of 2011 (in Greek).
  12. ^ a b c "Grade/rank insignia of the Hellenic CG (Ministry of Merchant Marine)". Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Ο Στόλος του Λιμενικού Σώματος /Ελληνικής Ακτοφυλακής το 2015" [The Fleet of the Hellenic Coast Guard in 2015] (in Greek). 21 December 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Επιχειρησιακά Μέσα" [Operational Units]. Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands & Fisheries (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  15. ^ "The Hellenic Coast Guard's Mission to Secure the Seas from Illicit Trade". PMI IMPACT. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  16. ^ D-Mitch (2 April 2020). "Infographics of Coast Guard Vessels #7: The new boats of the Hellenic Coast Guard 2020-2024". Naval Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Viking wins 34-vessel order for Greek coastguard". Maritime Journal. 31 August 2023. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  18. ^ "Πέντε ταχύπλοα για την φύλαξη των θαλάσσιων συνόρων" [Five speedboats for guarding the maritime borders]. (in Greek). 2 November 2023. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Pagotsis, E., ed. (May 2011). Ετήσια Ανασκόπηση Ισορροπία Δυνάμεων 2011-2012 [Annual Review Balance of Power 2011-2012]. Athens, Greece: Dyros Ltd. p. 77.
  20. ^ "Τελετή Απόδοσης σε Ενέργεια του Πλοίου Ανοιχτής Θαλάσσης Λιμενικού Σώματος (ΠΑΘ/ΛΣ) 050" [Commissioning Ceremony of the Coast Guard Offshore Vessel (PATH/LS) 050]. (in Greek). 10 December 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Greek coastguard orders six coastal patrol craft". 29 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  22. ^ "New FB 56' SF model for the Hellenic Coast Guard". FB Design. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  23. ^ Archus, Dorian (2 February 2020). "FB Design to build 15 patrol boats for Hellenic Coast Guard". Naval News. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Shipowners donate 10 high-speed boats Rafnar to Greek Coast Guard". Keep Talking Greece. 23 November 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Project Nemesis". Elmon Defence Systems. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  26. ^ "U.S. Donates Patrol Boats to Hellenic Coast Guard for 2004 Olympics". U.S. Department of State. 4 June 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Antipollution vessel ALPHA" (PDF). Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 1994.
  28. ^ "Astilleros Gondan Alfa". Astilleros Gondan shipbuilders. 2011.
  29. ^ "Desmi Ro-Clean Pollcats". Manor Marine. Portland. 2016. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  30. ^ Aerospace Source Book 2007: World Military Aircraft Inventory. Aviation Week & Space Technology. 15 January 2007.
  31. ^ "Incident IAI Heron 1". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 30 September 2023.

External links edit