Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Wales

Department for Transport written question – answered on 6th March 2015.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many hours of shift time were staffed below risk-assessed levels at (a) Swansea and (b) Milford Haven Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in (i) July 2013, (ii) January 2014, (iii) July 2014 and (iv) January 2015.

Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many shifts were staffed below risk-assessed levels at (a) Swansea and (b) Milford Haven Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in (i) July 2013, (ii) January 2014, (iii) July 2014 and (iv) January 2015.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The new flexible shift patterns and the ability for areas covered by the new HM Coastguard structure to be handled by any Coastguard within it mean workload is managed nationally rather than on a centre by centre basis. This enables HM Coastguard to proactively match available staff across the whole network to its busiest areas and times, both diurnally and seasonally.

It is therefore more relevant to consider the total number of Coastguards available on the growing national network.

As of 6 March 2015 this network, and the benefits it delivers, will stretch from Beachy Head to the Mull of Galloway. The transition of the national network around the United Kingdom will be complete by December 2015.

These historic risk assessed watch level assessments at the current individual centres err strongly on the side of caution. As each centre joins the evolving national network, the number of Coastguards at any of the individual centres becomes less significant.

Where there are specific issues at a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Her Majesty’s Coastguard uses the current long established pairing arrangements between MRCCs. This enables each MRCC to be connected to at least one other MRCC which is available to provide mutual support.

Work continues on the fresh appraisal I have asked for on the relationship between the available levels of resource and need in the light of the benefit of the new structure.

The following table outlines the number of shifts and how many hours of shift time were staffed below risk assessed levels at (a) Swansea and (b) Milford Haven Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in (i) July 2013, (ii) January 2014, (iii) July 2014 and (iv) January 2015.

MRCC

Jul-13

Jan-14

Jul-14

Jan-15

Shifts

Hours

Shifts

Hours

Shifts

Hours

Shifts

Hours

Swansea

23

276

10

120

41

492

32

384

Milford Haven

5

60

5

60

26

312

20

240

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