The MCA was asked to assess how well Guernsey Coastguard is meeting national and international search and rescue obligations, and to highlight any gaps and enhancements, which could be made.
The MCA Peer Review concludes the current arrangements for Guernsey Coastguard, including the operation of the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESSC), are fit for purpose. However, the review has identified areas, particularly in the training of our JESCC operators, where improvements can be made.
Guernsey's Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said:
"It is always useful to get an expert outside opinion on our coastguard organisations. This report should give those who use our waters confidence that we can provide effective search and rescue services should they need it. The Bailiwick is lucky to be well served by a range of sea, land, and air assets available for search and rescue operations when the need arises. Volunteers operate most of these and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their professionalism and dedication. We have already put in place a training and quality improvement plan for our JESCC operators, as recommended in the report, and we will be closely monitoring the results over the coming months."
Peer reviews, such as this are regular exercises carried out between search and rescue agencies to share best practice, new developments in technology and staff training.
Captain Barker added:
"I would like to thank the MCA for carrying out this review, and their commitment to professional standards. We will be inviting the agency to come again in 2019, as part of our commitment to continually assess the effectiveness of our search and rescue organisation. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the professional members of our coastguard organisation, both within Guernsey Harbours and at JESCC, whose focus, like my own, is on saving lives at sea."