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Sea Rescue: Strikes

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contingency arrangements were made by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency during each of the last three strikes by coastguards; and what further contingency arrangements have been identified as necessary in the event of a strike by coastguards lasting four days. (206588)

The UK’s maritime emergency response is provided by a co-operative partnership of Government Departments, emergency services and other organisations. During the three 24-hour periods of strike action by some Maritime and Coastguard Agency staff in March and April, the Agency worked with its partner organisations to maintain UK emergency response and search and rescue co-ordination capabilities. This was achieved by using a combination of well-rehearsed internal contingency measures (such as employing existing technology to ‘pair’ rescue co-ordination centres, where necessary), redeploying experienced managers, establishing a national strategic support centre and co-ordinating closely with other search and rescue operators. In addition, the Agency ensured that information about MCA services during the strike was widely disseminated to its customers.

The Agency will approach contingency planning for any future strike action by coastguards in a similar manner.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff at each coastguard station participated in strike action in each strike affecting the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the last five years. (206592)

The number of staff, by Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, who have taken strike action in each strike affecting the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in the last five years, is shown as follows:

Strike date

MRCC

6 March 2008

11 March 2008

23/24 April 2008

Portland

13

12

11

Solent

17

11

16

Dover

12

10

11

Thames

11

11

12

Yarmouth

9

8

9

Humber

8

7

12

Forth

10

3

4

Aberdeen

9

5

6

Shetland

0

0

0

Stornoway

6

5

2

Clyde

11

8

5

Belfast

11

11

2

Liverpool

13

10

4

Holyhead

14

11

7

Milford Haven

9

8

2

Swansea

14

8

12

Falmouth

12

11

0

Brixham

9

10

1

London

2

2

2

Total

190

151

118