MCA stations affected by industrial action
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have released the following statement regarding Coastguard Strikes over this weekend.
“The MCA is reminding holiday makers and boat users to look very carefully at their plans and precautions in advance of a strike called by the Public and Commercial Services Union which will affect Coastguard Stations around the UK this weekend (18th – 20th July).
Contingency arrangements are in place to ensure that the MCA will continue to provide an emergency service to all beach, cliff and sea users this weekend. However, the boating public should make sure they are aware of standard safety advice before considering going afloat this weekend.
Boat users are reminded that
? A suitable up to date marine weather forecast should be obtained before putting to sea
? Forecasts can be obtained from http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/inshore/ or http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html
? Skippers should make sure that everyone on board is wearing lifejackets
? Marine Safety Information (MSI) broadcasts are now being carried on the front page of the MCA web site
? A fixed or handheld radio should be taken. Mobile phone coverage at sea is too unpredictable
? Suitable in-date flares should be carried
? Warm clothing should be stowed in the event of a lengthy breakdown
? A torch and spare batteries are essential
? 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
This weekend HM Coastguards normal service will be affected by industrial action. Plans are in place to provide cover, but Im encouraging everybody working or playing on the sea or on the beach this weekend to take that bit of extra care, and to follow our safety advice.
The Agency is absolutely committed to maintaining the safety of life at sea, despite the on-going industrial action, and to aid seafarers we have introduced electronic versions of the marine safety information broadcasts and NAVTEX on the front page of our web site at www.mcga.gov.uk
We have drawn up detailed contingency plans for the weekend and although our services will be more limited than usual, distress calls will be answered as normal.
Sea users should also be aware that this industrial action is by those responsible for co-ordinating rescues. The rescuers themselves will continue to operate as normal. The following services remain unaffected:
? Helicopters will continue to fly
? The RNLI will still send out their lifeboats
? MCA volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers are ready in their local communities
? As usual when out at sea, other ships and craft will assist others in distress
? Our emergency tugs and pollution control experts will respond to any shipping incidents that threaten the environment