TALLINN - The Estonian Riigikogu approved this week of law amendments that create the basis for voluntary sea rescuers to participate in police activities in search and rescue work, Postimees Online reports.
According to the amendments that come in force on September 1, the voluntary sea rescuers can participate in search and rescue operations according to the amount of training they have had either together with a police official or independently at the request of the police. While participating in the activities of the police, they are representatives of the state power whose legal orders are obligatory for fulfilling.
Voluntary sea rescuers in Estonia who belong to non-profit organizations have already cooperated with the police. In the future the police and border guard board will conclude an agreement with the organizations to regulate the activities better.
Another change the parliament approved was giving the Police and Border Guard rights to check passenger lists of ships departing from Estonia. So far the lists of passengers on board ships departing from Estonia are compiled of people who have passed check-in, whose identification takes place only randomly when the board ships. Thus people, who have registered, might fail to actually go on board a ship or they can give their ticket to someone else.