The maritime risks considered by the review team cover the broad categories of incidents at sea, on the beach, cliff, coastal path and in a tidal river. No decisions have been taken, or will be taken, about the future of the general purpose boat based at Hope Cove until after the current consultation exercise about the search and rescue provision in the southern part of the South West Peninsula.
There is no clause 42 within the consultation document. However paragraph 4.2 and its view on the future of the Hope Cove general purpose boat was developed by the collective local, regional and national HM Coastguard management with many years experience of assessing and providing Search and Rescue services.
The latest statistics available to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency show that as at 8 February 2010 the consultation web page had been viewed 172 times.
Officials at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have been asked to compile the requested data. The process involves reconciling a number of different data sources to provide the information requested in a helpful form. As soon as that information is available it will be placed in the Libraries of the House. It should be noted that, as per best practice, the MCA keeps financial records only for the previous six financial years so therefore will not be able to provide information prior to financial year 2004-05.
In line with standard Maritime and Coastguard Agency procedures, the Hope Cove General Purpose Boat Crew members were not consulted prior to their personal protective equipment being replaced.
To reflect the operating restrictions placed on the boat, helmets were changed to offer additional head protection in a “man overboard” situation and lifejackets were changed to those of an approved standard suitable for use on general purpose boats.
From the matrix of assets that are fit for purpose and available, Her Majesty's Coastguard will task the most appropriate declared search and rescue resource to deal with the given circumstances of a maritime incident. It is the view of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) that the resources available for search and rescue in the southern part of the South West Peninsula are sufficient to address the known maritime risks for that location, without the need for an additional boat at Hope Cove, whether or not that they were privately run. However, this is the subject of a consultation exercise at this time and no decisions about the future of the general purpose boat at Hope Cove will be taken until the consultation period is complete.
In the interim, the existing Coastguard General Purpose boat based at Hope Cove, which is not a primary search and rescue asset, will be available within the terms of its restricted operation, imposed to protect its crew, from the beginning of April.