Two long-range CODAROS SeaSonde HF radar stations were installed and operated for three months (Nov 2005 to Feb 2006) in the Galician coast, the main area affected by the Prestige disaster. During this period, all the produced data were freely distributed in real time via Internet. The dissemination system was fully integrated with the Puertos del Estado web products, which are providing real time data of several oceanographic and atmospheric parameters, such as sea level and waves. One of the buoys of the Puertos del Estado deep-water network, equipped with a current meter, is moored in the area covered by the Radar system. Analysis of the three months of data shows good correlation between both sources of information (RMS of 5.11 cm/s for u component and 6.67 cm/s for ν) [1]. Additionally, a lagrangian buoy was released in the area, in order to analyze the benefit of employing HF radar currents for the tracking of drifting objects. The validation exercise with the drifting buoy was carried out inside the ESEOO project; the analysis was lead by University of Cantabria and Imedea balear, as part of their modeling tasks inside ESEOO, and the drifting buoy was released by SASEMAR, the Spanish Coastguard, as part of an ESEOO exercise [2]. A particle model was employed with and without the use of HF radar currents. Results of the experiment clearly show a positive impact of the use of measured current. When using HF data, the search and rescue areas are reduced, in average, in 49%. In this work, results from this experience will be analyzed in detail, making special focus in the scientific aspects of the comparison with the moored and drifting buoys.

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