JESCC operators should be given further training to ensure that search and rescue operations are dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible, according to a review of the Guernsey and Alderney Coastguards.
A peer review of the Coastguard service has been carried out by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to highlight gaps in the service and recommend improvements that can be made to the Bailiwick's national and international search and rescue operations.
It said the current arrangements, including the operation of the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre, are fit for purpose, but that improvements could be made.
Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said:
“It is always useful to get an expert outside opinion on our coastguard organisations. This report should give those who use our waters confidence that we can provide effective search and rescue services should they need it. The Bailiwick is lucky to be well served by a range of sea, land, and air assets available for search and rescue operations when the need arises. Volunteers operate most of these and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their professionalism and dedication. We have already put in place a training and quality improvement plan for our JESCC operators, as recommended in the report, and we will be closely monitoring the results over the coming months.”
Pictured: Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker.
The MCA commended the Coastguard for the following:
Good use of volunteer services and additional facilities when conducting search and rescue operations.
The peer review concluded that there was room for improvement in the following areas:
Captain Barker said the points raised in the review would be taken on board and that independent professional scrutiny was welcomed.
“We will be inviting the agency to come again in 2019, as part of our commitment to continually assess the effectiveness of our search and rescue organisation. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the professional members of our coastguard organisation, both within Guernsey Harbours and at JESCC, whose focus, like my own, is on saving lives at sea.”
Pictured top: Spirit of Guernsey lifeboat (Credit: Tony Rive) and image of the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre.
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