A contingent of 15 Israelis were among the first group of people to complete a Vessel Traffic Services Operator training course, facilitated by the SafeMed II project of the Malta-based Maritime Administration of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC). The SafeMed II program, which aims to prevent pollution and bring nautical safety to the Mediterranean region, is part of the International Maritime Organization as well as the United Nations Environment Program.

The Israelis received their practical simulator training in Malta, where they brought their skills up to par with standards of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, according to a SafeMed II project spokesman.

Nine other candidates from Albania, Jordan and Montenegro will likely complete their training soon, and groups from Morocco and Tunisia have also begun their courses, the spokesman said.

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