Friday, 18 September 2009


I've just read on the main MCA website that a dive boat capsized off Portland Bill this afternoon throwing the 3 persons into the water. The Coastguard helicopter was overhead in 10 minutes and confirmed no one was missing.

However what was worrying was that the Coastguard Operations Room at Weymouth (Portland Coastguard) took just one 999 call from the public, despite being in this popular area.

Perhaps people just didn't see it? Perhaps they were unsure what was going on? Perhaps people still don't know who to call?

I'm still surprised that people don't know who is responsible for maritime rescues along our coastline, despite programmes like sea side rescue. We get asked where our boats are? (a lot of confusion between the Coastguard and the RNLI) well its simple ready.......

The Coastguard are the coordinators of search and rescue around the UK coastline (about 10400 miles), this means helicopters don't get scrambled lifeboats don't get launched and Coastguard Rescue teams don't go out if the Coastguard don't coordinate the incident, however of course to co ordinate a rescue we need to know about it and that's why you as the public play a vital part in any rescue, its simple "999 and ask for Coastguard", don't think someone else will call. someone might lose their live if there is a delay.

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