The Coastguard, Emergency Towing Vessels and the Maritime Incident Response Group: Follow-up, Sixth Report of Session 2012-13, Vol. 1: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence, Volume 1

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The Stationery Office, Dec 11, 2012 - Business & Economics - 73 pages
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Implementation of the Government's modernisation programme risks damaging the coastguard. Confusion about the role of the new national Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) and mixed messages about local knowledge and coastguard station closures has undermined staff morale across the service and caused great concern that the vacancy rate for skilled staff has doubled since 2010. There is a worrying lack of information about what coastguards at the MOC will actually do from day to day or how these new staff will work with local coastguards. The MCA's stance in respect of the local knowledge which coastguards in co-ordination centres must have is also confusing and contradictory. The MCA needs to set out its strategy for staff training and articulate its vision of why coastguards in MRCCs need to gain and retain local knowledge. MCA management must schedule and remunerate staff to pursue this expertise, not leave them to organise themselves when they are off duty. The Committee also expresses concern about arrangements for Emergency Towing Vessels and plans for fire fighting at sea now that the Maritime Incident Response group has been withdrawn. The Government is called to provide statistics on the age profile and length of service of coastguards at each MRCC and to set out its strategy for retaining experienced coastguards, particularly in terms of recruitment to positions based at the MOC

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