Maritime Authority System
In Portugal, the coast guard role is performed by several government agencies that, together, form the Maritime Authority System (Portuguese: Sistema de Autoridade Marítima, SAM). The SAM includes the Portuguese Navy, the National Republican Guard (GNR), the Portuguese Air Force, the Border and Immigration Service (SEF), the Civil Protection Authority, the National Medical Emergency Institute and the Criminal Investigation Police (PJ).
The Autoridade Marítima Nacional (National Maritime Authority) or AMN is the branch of the Portuguese Navy responsible for its coast guard role. The function of AMN is performed by the Chief of Staff of the Navy himself, supported in this role by the Directorate of the Maritime Authority, which includes the Maritime Police, the Lifeguard Institute, the Lighthouse Department and the several harbourmasters. Besides the specific assets of the Directorate of Maritime Authority entirely dedicated to the coast guard role, the AMN also has at its disposal the other Portuguese Navy's assets that can be used both for military and public service missions.
The vessels operated within the SAM include the Maritime Police patrol boats, the Lifeguard Institute lifeboats, the harbourmasters harbour boats, the GNR Coastal Control Unit' surveillance boats and the Portuguese Navy's naval ships. The aircraft operated within the SAM include fixed-wing aircraft from the Portuguese Air Force and helicopters from the Navy, the Air Force and the Civil Protection Authority.