The way the Coastguard delivers the coordination of search and rescue operations on our coast and out at sea is changing.
The modernisation programme will see the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) and 10 other Coastguard Operation Centres around the UK operate as an integrated network managing workload on a national basis. This means in a search and rescue operation there will be a much bigger and better support network available nationally to help Coastguards who may be dealing with multiple incidents at once.
The public won’t notice any difference. If you call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, or issue a mayday broadcast, there will still be someone there to help. There will be no reduction in rescue resources either. The Coastguard Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue units that are sent out to help you will be unaffected.
National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC)
At the heart of this new set up is the NMOC based in Hampshire. The centre went live in September 2014, taking on operations from both Solent and Portland Coastguard.
47 Coastguards are currently working at the new centre. This will increase to 96 Coastguards once the national network is fully operational by the end of 2015.
The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) at Portland has now closed and our rescues are being co-ordinated from the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham. We'll run a feature and some piccies of the new facility in due course and at the same time do a round up of some of the rescues that Portland has been involved in over the years.
However, for us it is business as usual. If you see anyone in distress (or who appears to be in distress) at sea or on the coast then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. The local team will be paged in exactly the same way and as before and we will continue to respond from our Coastguard Rescue Station in North Beach Car Park.
This video looks at some of the work we do and discusses the transition to the NMOC.