A maritime rescue centre, designed to provide a rapid response to acts of piracy and accidents at sea, has been launched in the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
The centre was set up to combat the increasing attacks on shipping in the Indian Ocean off the coast of neighbouring Somalia, officials say.
The centre has satellite technology to detect distress signals, officials say.
This should enable help to be mobilised more quickly than existing systems.
The $1.6m Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre was part funded by the UN's International Maritime Organization.
"The centre will be very useful in detecting maritime disasters in east Africa and combating piracy along the Somali waters," Andrew Mwangura of the Mombasa-based Seafarers Assistance Programme told Reuters news agency.
Friday, May 05, 2006