HM Coastguard closures announced - Page 3 - Ships Nostalgia
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HM Coastguard closures announced

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  #51  
Old 16th December 2010, 12:16
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very sad news indeed. I am so sorry for the staff of these stations.
Words fail me.
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  #52  
Old 16th December 2010, 12:19
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Maybe the RNLI could take over??? Just a thought.
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  #53  
Old 16th December 2010, 12:23
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Voluntary Services

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJordandpo View Post
Isn't the RNLI run as a charity? (as is the RNIB) I may be wrong but they seem to keep going pretty strongly on public donations. If necessary couldn't the Coastgurd be run in a similar way or is this simply out of the question? The public are quite happy to donate to these causes so why not the Coastguard, could they not amalgamate with the Lifeboat Service and pull out of MCA jurisdiction altogether? anything to keep our much needed Coastguard going

The RNLI is indeed run on public donations and the vast majority of it's "staff" are volunteers who respond to pagers to attend incidents. They do have a pemanent staff at the training school in Poole and also 1 lifeboat manned full time at Humber but the rest of the stations generally only have a full time engineer on site. The Coastguard also has it's volunteers in the form of Coastguard Rescue Officers who also respond to pager calls to attend incidents. The people who initiate the pager calls to both the Coastguard Rescue Officers and the RNLI are the full time Coastguard Watch Officers / Manager on duty at the various MRCC's who man their locations 24/7. These staff man the radios and telephone lines taking in the information from potential casualties, assessing the situation, calculating search plans (not all watercraft are fitted with GMDSS) and running the incident until successful completion. To run an 24/7 service and maintain the infrastructure on charity is the same as asking the ambulance, fire or police services to do the same. I leave you to make your own mind up as to whether that is a sensible option.
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  #54  
Old 16th December 2010, 12:43
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Here is the link to the consultation document.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-...ation_2010.htm
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  #55  
Old 16th December 2010, 13:07
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Unhappy

Sorry folks - I really am, but what the report says makes perfect sense to me, it is once again a case of technology reaching a stage where it can change the way of working, just as when radio was introduced.
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  #56  
Old 16th December 2010, 14:07
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Looks like another broken election promise made by Cameron.

He said if a minister came to him with front-line jobs going he would be sent back to think again.
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  #57  
Old 16th December 2010, 14:56
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I've just sent a "shitty ditty" to the Number 10 web site expressing my disgust at this latest wizzard wheeze to save a few quid. I'm under no illusions it will do any good but I just wanted to vent my anger at what I still regard as a bloody stupid idea. I also pointed out I would be obliged if anyone could explain the logic of telling us we are broke yet still can find the cash to dole out to arseholes and their tin pot countries all over the world......... Yes I'm sorry if there are poor people suffering in poverty but with all due respect to the liberal minded among us I didn't cause it and it's not my problem.

If that sounds harsh, tough, personally I'd rather see our money, or what's left of it, being spent on ourselves first, and yes that does mean keeping the Coastguard service intact.
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  #58  
Old 16th December 2010, 15:39
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[QUOTE=bantam;477241]And as for Australia's gallant service - didn't do the poor buggers that got smashed to bits on the rocks today any good - I rest my case!

I rather think that comment is doing the CG service a great diservice bantham. I have no idea how long you have been in the CG but I can think of a number of occasions when nothing could be done while people drowned within sight of potential rescuers. Two thirds of those boat people were rescued by those ashore. I was not there and therefore can comment no further.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that despite all our best efforts we are not succesful every time, but I do agree with you that the proposed cuts will I believe go a longway towards to reducing the success rate.

Martin - Former CG
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  #59  
Old 16th December 2010, 16:47
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Well something has to be done! according to Axels the present system is unreliable and losing one station means often losing its twin, so obviously an upgrade is required. According to the report the present system is 40 years old and modern technology would be wasted on it. You can't have it every way.
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  #60  
Old 16th December 2010, 17:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmac1720 View Post
I've just sent a "shitty ditty" to the Number 10 web site expressing my disgust at this latest wizzard wheeze to save a few quid. I'm under no illusions it will do any good but I just wanted to vent my anger at what I still regard as a bloody stupid idea. I also pointed out I would be obliged if anyone could explain the logic of telling us we are broke yet still can find the cash to dole out to arseholes and their tin pot countries all over the world......... Yes I'm sorry if there are poor people suffering in poverty but with all due respect to the liberal minded among us I didn't cause it and it's not my problem.

If that sounds harsh, tough, personally I'd rather see our money, or what's left of it, being spent on ourselves first, and yes that does mean keeping the Coastguard service intact.
100% agreement on that.
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  #61  
Old 16th December 2010, 18:09
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An island nation without a coastguard? Good thinking!
Let's build a couple of aircraft carriers but save a few bob by not equipping them with any aircraft? After all, they should be able to demonstrate Britain's power in every ocean of the world even if they can't actually do anything. And to find the money for them let's scrap half the navy that could have been attending to the Somali pirates etc. "One of those carriers, boyo, will put them in their place!"

The reality is, I am afraid, that the politicians are still deluding themselves that Britain is a force to be reckoned with, hence their posturing on the world stage. It's easy to give someone else's money to a failed foreign state when you then get lauded by the dictators into whose pockets the money will filter.

The other reality, of course, is that there was never much need for coastguards, or appreciation of them, in the offices of Westminster or the halls of Eton.
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  #62  
Old 16th December 2010, 19:10
Don Matheson Don Matheson is offline  
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Heard a politician(?) on the radio saying it had not been decided yet which Scottish stations would remain open and no decision had yed been made. Oh but Clyde Coastguard will close! Nothing decided yet but this one will close. Sounds to me that its all already sorted, the next load will be the B*ll S**t that politicians seem to be so good at.

A few years ago a CG station had a failure and their maintenance people refused to come out to sort the problem. Following thisI was asked to quote for some maintenance on stations in Scotland and Norther Ireland. As it included emergency callout I had guys in place to cover all the sites named and everyone seemed delighted with my quotes.
It all ended when someone in the CG noticed I had a small company and they would not give the contract to a small company. This despite me having people available at short notice for every site.
This was also despite that it was a national company who refused to come, and as we all know a small company will always come.

Don
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  #63  
Old 16th December 2010, 20:14
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Can remember thinking unmanned lighthouses would spell disaster round our coasts still waiting all these years later.Afraid technology is the future and there's nothing going to halt it's progress.
Rab.
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  #64  
Old 16th December 2010, 21:49
John Callon John Callon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmac1720 View Post
I've just sent a "shitty ditty" to the Number 10 web site expressing my disgust at this latest wizzard wheeze to save a few quid. I'm under no illusions it will do any good but I just wanted to vent my anger at what I still regard as a bloody stupid idea. I also pointed out I would be obliged if anyone could explain the logic of telling us we are broke yet still can find the cash to dole out to arseholes and their tin pot countries all over the world......... Yes I'm sorry if there are poor people suffering in poverty but with all due respect to the liberal minded among us I didn't cause it and it's not my problem.

If that sounds harsh, tough, personally I'd rather see our money, or what's left of it, being spent on ourselves first, and yes that does mean keeping the Coastguard service intact.
Agree 100 per cent. The above says it all.
John.
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  #65  
Old 16th December 2010, 23:29
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Originally Posted by John Callon View Post
Agree 100 per cent. The above says it all.
John.
I hope you dont expect a regretful answer do you TMAC, the answer you will get will be full of sh1t by people who couldnt give a sh1t about the Coastguard, Sailors or anything to do with the sea. The only thing they give a sh1t about is getting in again at the next election and their expenses.
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  #66  
Old 17th December 2010, 00:42
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I am bitterly disappointed that the axe has now fallen. I think it had been on the cards for a few years.
My sincerest commiserations to all those Coast Guard Officers who will suffer as a result of this decision. I know how you feel folks as I was made redundant from my job at the age of 52 and at the time was devastated, however it all turned out for the best. Keep the peckers up!
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  #67  
Old 17th December 2010, 06:05
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Lighten up chaps - Been in [I]quite[I] a while now (2 badges plus)

Lets set the record straight please


No one was meant to be offended - I was simply reminding(somewhat bluntly I admit) the person that commented about MRCC Canberra that what may be acceptable in overseas organisations may not be acceptable for HM Coastguard. That is how much I value our service. So accept my apologies if you misunderstood the comment.

The guise of "modernisation" to justify cuts is an old trick and we should be able to see past that.

I am afraid that this actually exposes the lack of talent at senior level - my opinion I'm afraid.

Money is tight - but Life is precious......

Merry Christmas to you all and bugger diversity!
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  #68  
Old 17th December 2010, 12:30
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The present Coastguard system is already heavily technology dependent. Technology will always have it's issues and the resilience of the overall system is therefore important. It would appear from comments made that the resilience of the current system is already somewhat limited and requiring investment.

The new government proposals will require a significant investment to design and deliver a new integrated network. Investment in updating the technology must be a positive factor.

In reality the proposals are reinventing the system under which the UK Coast Radio Station system operated latterly. As originally designed, this system had two full-time stations on 24 hour watch (latterly this was reduced to one 24 hour station). The other stations around the coast dipped in and out of the network, could operate their station locally if required and had the ability to remotely control facilities at other stations.

The UK's Air Traffic Control system has, for many decades, relied upon the ability to control radio systems remotely in order to provide 24-hour coverage of UK airspace.

The Government's proposals for the Coastguard operational system are, in reality, a proposal to invest money in it to bring it into the 21st century which must be positive for both the Coastguard service and the seafarer.

Of course if a Coastguard operations centre is to cover a greater area, this will bring the possibility of pressure points which need to be planned and provided for. Manpower at a centre will require to be greater than at present centres just to cover general day-to-day work. The potential of being required to handle multiple incidents are any time will be increased, which will have implications for the space and staffing required for coordination purposes. There will also be the need to enhance staff training.

The real concerns need to be in the small and unpublished print ! What will the proposals mean for the local volunteer Coastguard force, how will they integrate into the new system and will there be any investment (or cuts) in their training and equipment. Forget the pictures of helicopters and tugs with Coastguard painted on the side - these are already hired-hands - but what will the overall provision of such resources be in the future? The tugs are already scheduled to be dispensed with (although there is growing pressure, certainly in northern and western Scotland, for their retention). It is planned that the helicopter SAR service will be placed in the hands of private operators - if this happens, what will the implications be for seafarers in different parts of the UK? And lets not forget that we already have lost parts of the RAF maritime SAR capability with the loss of the Nimrod.

It could be that, overall, the reorganisation and investment in the Coastguard operational centres is the positive side of a general reduction in the resources available to the Coastguard.
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  #69  
Old 17th December 2010, 16:27
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You can have your say here:

www.mcga.gov.uk


.... by filling out the survey form.
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  #70  
Old 17th December 2010, 18:51
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I've filled in the survey, with the hope that some notice will be taken.
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  #71  
Old 20th December 2010, 17:52
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Angry Reaction to the Executive Summary (page 7)

I am at present attempting to subjectively digest the "Consultation On Proposals For Modernising The Coastguard 2010" document and trying hard not to make comment with my heart and not my head however there are a couple of points in the "Executive Summary" that I feel need clarifying.
The point made that the current arrangements of the Coastguard dates back forty years cannot be accurate.
Coastguard underwent a major transformation when it moved from The Board of Trade to the Deprtment of Transport in the 1980's
Almost thirty year ago HM Coastguard had 28 stations. Today we have 18 - change to the Coastguard Service has taken place regularly throughout the last forty year.
I joined the Coastguard when they were in the process of changing from six hour watches with a five watch system to eight hour watches with a four watch system. The watch system has subsequently changed to a twelve hour four watch system.
When I first joined we had radio terminals similar to that used in Air Traffic Control Centres and we used a paper logging system. Today we are in around the fith or sixth radio equipment fit since I joined. We have gone through a computerised system called ADAS followed by "Son of " ADAS (or ADAS II) which has been superceded by a computerised comand and control system called VISION. All operations rooms are now equiped with AIS (a fantastic system - wish I had it when I was at sea).
Stations, as has been previously mentioned, have all been paired with their neighbouring station.
We used to manually work out our search plans using Universal Plotting sheets and we had templates for our search planning workings. That evolved into a search planning program using a BBC computer which subsequently involved into various incarnations of SARIS our Search Planning Program. Many a night was spent working out Search Planning programs that would fit onto a calculator with approx 400 programing steps. (Managed four programs which assisted in rapid response search planning)
Coastguard went through a total shake up in the 1990's. The Coastguard Service amalgamated with Surveyors to form the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency). In addition Focus for Change saw the make up of Operations Room teams change and saw the introduction of the Coastguard Watch Assistant grade which in turn reduced the number of mariners joining the service. Sectors also saw a vast reduction in the number of Sector Officer / Managers and our Coastguard Volunteers (Auxiliary Service) has gone from using breaches buoys with the dangerous MOD rockets used to fire the messanger lines to utilising sophisticated cliff rescue equipment and modern communications equipment.
The Coastguard Service has been one of the most Reviewed services within the Civil Service undergoing regular reviews every few years. Although costly not all reviews have had their recomendations acted on.
The Reiner Review of the 1980's was a notable point along with Lord Donaldson's Review which saw the advent of Coastguard Tugs and the phrase "Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas".
The Executive Summary also goes on to say our coastline and seas are becoming busier and more conjested with more people using it for recreational purposes and vessels getting larger and less manouverable along with the advent of wind farms and drilling rigs. If that is the case, why are we reducing our Search and Rescue Service.
Bearing in mind it is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency it appears that the Coastguard arm of the Agency is taking the full brunt of cut backs. We hear no mention of any change to our Survey Branch (not that I wish to see any reduction in any area of the Agency).
The above is a bit of a pressure release valve on my part having concentrated solely on page seven of the document.
I am certain there will be much more within the document that I will find inaccurate and that I will dissagree with.
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  #72  
Old 20th December 2010, 18:30
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Thumbs up Well said Sir!

Navigator_1969,

You are obviously a similar vintage to myself.
An excellent comment on just one of the forty eight pages in the document.
Have to say, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
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  #73  
Old 20th December 2010, 18:36
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Navigator_1969,

You are obviously a similar vintage to myself.
An excellent comment on just one of the forty eight pages in the document.
Have to say, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
To be honest its a pretty good idea to read the whole document which expands on the Executive Summary.
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  #74  
Old 20th December 2010, 18:36
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May I ask what will happen to the auxillary coastguards, the volunteers so as to speak, who will ( if they stay ) control them and alert them to incidents. What I am really asking, I suppose, is where will they be based if their station is closed ? and are we going down the road of volunteers being used to cover things which should be covered by Coastguard Officers. Similar I think to the proper Police Officers and the ones they called the Specials and the cardboard ones.

Last edited by Boatman25; 20th December 2010 at 18:44..
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  #75  
Old 20th December 2010, 18:44
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Boatman25,

Their cunning plan is for Coastguard Rescue Officers (the twee term for Auxiliary Coastguards) to conduct all land based searches under the co-ordination of a Sector Manager who will become an 'on call' position.
Offshore incidents, as in my case, off North Wales will be co-ordinated from Swansea during daylight hours and Aberdeen, or somewhere in the Southampton area, during darkness.
Utter bloody madness!
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