Demands that services operate at same level
The RYA has responded to plans to axe 10 coastguard stations by demanding that all services continue to operate at the same level.
The organisation was responding to the MCA’s consultation paper regarding the government’s modernisation plans that will see the number of 24-hour coastguard stations slashed from 18 to three with a further five open in the day.
RYA cruising manager, Stuart Carruthers, said: ‘It is quite evident that the consultation has provoked much emotion and even hostility; particularly from communities where Rescue Co-ordination Centres may be located close by.
‘However, the proposals seek to improve the co-ordination and management of search and rescue activity in order to address the lack of interoperability between Rescue Co-ordination Centres, the inability to spread the work-load across the system and the fundamental lack of resilience caused by increased demands on the current inadequate structure.
‘All of these have implications for the safety of recreational boaters when at sea and the RYA has made it clear that there is a pressing need to address these weaknesses.’
The RYA’s response has raised a number of points that it feels must be ‘fully considered if the quality of the services is to be maintained and improved’.
Those points include a lack of; clear risk assessment, local knowledge, voice communications, sub-station operability, weather forecasts, among others.
The consultation period has been extended and now closes on 06 May 2011.