Announcement
Users Online
Admin
Weather Forecast
Clear
Currently
Clear
Today is forecast to be nearly the same temperature as yesterday. Windy with light rain in the morning.
Chance of Rain
Today 08/17 70%
Chance of Rain
Cloudy and windy with light rain this morning...then becoming partly cloudy. High 17C. Winds SSW at 30 to 50 km/h. Chance of rain 70%. Winds could occasionally gust over 65 km/h.
Chance of Rain
Today 08/17 50%
Chance of Rain
Partly cloudy skies this evening. Increasing clouds with periods of showers late. Low 11C. Winds SSE at 15 to 25 km/h. Chance of rain 50%.
Rain
Tomorrow 08/18 90%
Rain
Rain early...then remaining cloudy with thundershowers developing in the afternoon. High near 15C. Winds ESE at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 90%.
Chance of Rain
Tomorrow 08/18 50%
Chance of Rain
Overcast with rain showers at times. Low 11C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 50%.

What We Do

Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

What do we do at Shetland Coastguard?

Shetland Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC), is primarily responsible for responding to all maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) and other emergency situations, incidents and calls for assistance in and around the Northern Isles.

An Overview

In response to an incident alert, staff at Shetland Coastguard plan any Search and Rescue of casualties and task Helicopters, RNLI Lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams, Tugs or any other available units to aid any casualties.

To enable us to do our job effectively, we have to have a thorough understanding of and be able to operate Coastguard communications equipment including radios, satellite communications, Digital Selective Calling (DSC), Automatic Identification System (AIS), telephone systems (including the 999 system), e-mail, and paging systems.

We maintain the integrity of distress frequencies Channel 16 VHF and MF 2182 kHz. At MRCC Shetland we monitor 7 VHF Aerial sites covering an average of 30 Nautical Miles offshore and 2 MF radio site which have a range of over 250 Nautical Miles. We also answer all 999 telephone calls for Coastguard assistance made within our operational area.

MRCC Shetland is manned 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Four Watches with an average four to five coastguards, work in a shift pattern to maintain this continuous watch. This level of staffing allows us to respond adequately day in day out, night in night out with backup of extra off duty staff available to call to assist should a major incident occur.

What Skills and Knowledge do we, as Coastguard Officers require?

All operations room coastguards maintain their skills and knowledge in accordance with a competency based framework. The required 8 technical competencies are summarised below and the level of knowledge in each competency is appropriate to staff grading. Working in “Watch” teams we bring all our skills, past experience and local knowledge together to carry out our role to the best of our abilities.

•Maritime and Land Based Search Planning

Coastguards are trained in maritime search planning techniques so that in a methodical way, we can combine environmental data such as weather information, tidal or ocean currents and data regarding the typical behaviour of different sizes and shapes of floating targets to allow us to produce a probable sea area into which to send Search and Rescue Units. We are also trained in the capabilities of various types of search units including both inshore and all weather lifeboats, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, and other vessels that may become available to us at the scene. We plan how we can use the search units that are available to us as effectively as possible, and then deploy the units according to our plan. We liaise with the crews of all our SAR units to ensure that the search effort continues to a successful conclusion. Computer modelling assists us with this skill, but even so, local knowledge and experience has its role to play.

Officers are also trained in the same land search planning techniques as the Police, again to give us a structured approach when we task our Coastguard Rescue Teams as part of a multi-agency response in searching for missing persons.

•Operational Communications

Radio and telecommunications have developed greatly in the last 20 years. With the adoption of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) whereby specified vessels must carry communications equipment appropriate to their type, size and in which sea area they operate, Coastguard radio operators must have a comprehensive knowledge of what communications equipment should be carried aboard ships and how distress, urgency and safety alerts can be sent and there for received. All the operations room staff are examined on their knowledge and correct use of radio communications equipment to ensure that we are able to communicate promptly and professionally using the correct mediums during a Search and Rescue operation.

Coastguard officers keeping a visual lookout to seaward using a powerful pair of binoculars has long been a thing of the past. We have the Automatic Identification System (AIS) in the operations room which we can use to see the AIS equipped shipping traffic in our District and beyond. Commercial Vessels in the Fair Isle Channel regularly make reports  to Shetland Coastguard as they transit in accordance with a recommendation made by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

•Coast Rescue

Operational staff must have an appropriate level of knowledge in Coast Rescue. When we receive emergency calls reporting persons injured, trapped or missing along our cliffs and shorelines we call out one of our two islands groups of 23 volunteer Coastguard Rescue Teams. We therefore must have an understanding of their role in a Search and Rescue Operation, their capabilities and limitations, risk assessment processes, their equipment and operating procedures.

•Chart and Map Work

We use admiralty (paper) charts to locate and plot positions of incidents, vessel tracks and search areas, therefore all operations room staff must be adept in this particular skill. We also use ordnance survey maps and although we have computer mapping, we hold paper maps in the operations room which we can use to maintain a plot of an incident or on-going search. When an incident is handed over to the next duty Watch, these “plots” become part of the handover process and along with white boards, these visual aids help to make the handover as smooth as possible.

•General Maritime

Although Coastguard Operations Room staff come from a variety of backgrounds, in order to serve our maritime community we are required to have a sound general knowledge of all sorts of commercial and leisure maritime activities. Some of this includes knowledge of different types of vessels and installations, types of cargos and their transportation, marine terminology, the IALA buoyage system in the UK, the collision regulations, provision of emergency towage, some shipping regulations and port operations. Some of this is achieved through study but also through local knowledge of the area of operation gained from training visits and on the job experience gathered.

•Counter Pollution

We are all aware of the sensitivity of our rugged and beautiful coastline, and the importance of protecting the environment for generations to come. Shetland Coastguard has its role to play here, and the staff are trained to be able to support the MCA’s Counter Pollution and Salvage Branch when we have an incident that could pose a threat to the marine environment. We must be able to receive, assess and report on actual or potential threats of pollution in our waters to ensure that a timely, measured and effective response can be initiated and that other interested authorities are informed accordingly.

In addition, with a Coastguard Tug (stationed in response to recommendations from the Lord Donaldson Report into the Braer oil tanker disaster) in our District, the staff are aware of the capabilities and limitations of the Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) and also the operating procedures that apply.

•Meteorology

All operations room staff are required to have a knowledge of reading and interpreting weather forecasts, charts and the associated terminology. MRCC Shetland provides regular weather/maritime safety information radio broadcasts to vessels in and around the northern isles.

With the Station being in one of the most exposed parts of the UK, staff here have experience of extreme weather and fully understand the importance of working with other Agencies in warning the community, preparing, providing assistance and helping with recovery form any events.

•Search and Rescue Response and Co-ordination

The role of HM Coastguard is laid out in the Coastguard Act 1925.

“HM Coastguard is responsible for the initiation and co-ordination of civil maritime search and rescue within the UK maritime search and rescue region. This includes the mobilisation, organisation and tasking of adequate resources to respond to either persons either in distress at sea, or to persons at risk of injury or death on the cliffs or shoreline of the UK.”

In order to carry out our role the Watches at Shetland Coastguard are required to draw together their skills, local knowledge and experience of Shetlands District in order to prioritise emergency situations, record and analyse data using various computerized systems, understand how to integrate into a multi – agency emergency response and be able to implement major incident procedures if required. We also must have a thorough knowledge of the SAR facilities within our extensive district, their call out methods and their operating procedures.

All new staff complete extensive training courses and exams at the MCA’s training Centre at Highcliffe in Dorset. In addition, we must pass a bi-annual local knowledge test, something that has been a requirement for staff for many years.

The SAR Mission Co-ordinators (SMCs) who lead our Watches are responsible for the prosecution of SAR operations and therefore hold an SMC qualification which is re-validated every five years.

We maintain our competencies by carrying out regular study,  training and by building upon previous experience. This is so that we can co-ordinate Search and Rescue operations to the best of our abilities and in a professional manner. Whilst use of all these skills is not (thankfully) required during every watch, we maintain a state of readiness so that should the worst happen, then we are ready to take action.




Partly reproduced with the kind permission of www.stornowaycg.co.uk

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

4239161 page hits from 20th January 2010