Be prepared say MCA

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is asking yachtsmen to be aware that a strike called by the Public and Commercial Services Union will affect Coastguard Stations around the UK next week from the 8th – 9th March.     
Contingency arrangements are in place to ensure that the MCA will continue to provide an Emergency service. The industrial action is by those responsible for co-ordinating rescues. The rescuers themselves will continue to operate as normal.  The Agency is therefore reminding the public to take extra care whilst on the sea.  

The MCA is particularly urging the boating public to think carefully about their plans and to make sure they are aware of standard safety advice before considering going afloat next week. Boat users are strongly reminded that: – A suitable up to date marine weather forecast should be obtained before putting to sea.

Skippers should make sure that everyone on board has a lifejacket and is wearing it. A fixed or handheld radio should be taken, suitable in-date flares should be carried, warm clothing should be stowed in the event of a lengthy breakdown and a torch and spare batteries are essential as they can be used to guide a rescue helicopter or lifeboat.

An on-shore contact should be identified and a passage plan worked out in advance to ensure no one is left worrying about potential late arrivals MCA Chief Executive, Peter Cardy, said “Early next week our normal service will be affected by industrial action. Plans are in place to provide cover, but I am encouraging everybody working or playing on the sea or on the beach to take extra care, and to take heed of our safety advice. “