What we do

The Netherlands Coastguard is an independent civil organization with own tasks, competences and responsibilities.

Corporate video Netherlands Coastguard

The Netherlands Coastguard is 24 hours a day available for assistance, crisis management, enforcement and maritime security in the North Sea. We coordinate these tasks from the Coastguard Center in Den Helder. In our company video we show how we do that and who we work with.

Main goals

The Netherlands Coastguard has three main goals:

  1. A responsible use of the North Sea;
  2. To provide services that contribute to safety and security at sea;
  3. Upholding (inter)national laws and duties.

Present organization and tasks

The Director Coastguard is an officer of The Royal Netherlands Navy. The Netherlands Coastguard is controlled by the Coastguard Fourmanship (KW4) that can be seen as a daily management. Chairman of the KW4 is the Director North Sea of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (the coordinating Ministry for Coastguard affairs). Other members are the Chairman of the Law Enforcement Committee North Sea, the Director Planning and Control of the Royal Netherlands Navy (operational administrator of the Netherlands Coastguard) and the Director Netherlands Coastguard.

Besides that there is a Coastguard Council. The members of this Council are Directors General of the participating departments and it acts as a front office to the Council of Ministers. This Council gives its approval to the yearly Activity Plan and Budget (APB) and the annual Coastguard report.

Coastguard tasks

The Netherlands Coastguard carries out tasks for six ministries. The Coastguard tasks can be devided in Provision of service, law enforcement and maritime security tasks.

The ministries are:

  • Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
    • Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport
    • Directorate-General Public works and Water Management
  • Ministry of Defence
    • Royal Netherlands Navy
    • Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Military Police)
    • Royal Netherlands Airforce
  • Ministry of Justice and Security
    • Public Prosecution Service
    • National Police Force
    • National Crisis Centre
  • Ministry of Finance
    • Customs
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
    • State Supervision of Mines
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
    • The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority


We make permanent use of the lifeboats of the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Organization (KNRM) and we co-operate closely with a number of Traffic Centres at the large harbours (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Flushing, Scheveningen and Den Helder) and manned lighthouses at Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling and Ouddorp.

Services and departments

Besides the six ministries, the Netherlands Coastguard closely cooperates with the following services and departments:

  • Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Organization
  • The regional Traffic Control Centers alng the Dutch coast
  • The Hydro Meteo Centre North Sea (HMCN), run by Sea and Delta Department of Public Works and Water Management
  • The Maritime Police of the National Police Force
  • The Search and Rescue unit at Leeuwarden air base
  • Satellite Earth Station ‘Stratos’ in Burum, The Netherlands
  • Cooperating Operators of The Netherlands Oil and Gas Industry
  • Radio Medical Service of the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Organization
  • Royal Netherlands Life-saving Society
  • The Dutch Safety Regions
  • Air Traffic Control Centers at Schiphol airport (civil aviation) and Nieuw-Milligen (military aviation)
  • The Rescue Coordination Centers in neighboring North Sea countries
  • Salvage Company BST, Dintelsas


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