Saturday, 26 March 2011


Humber Coastguard has coordinated the recovery of the 15 metre fishing vessel Green Pastures with a fire on board 25 miles off the Northumberland coast.

Friday, 25 March 2011


Belfast Coastguard this morning coordinated the evacuation of a skipper from the fishing vessel ‘Northern Dawn’ approximately 27 nautical miles east off Kilkeel.

At 08.55, Belfast Coastguard were contacted by their colleagues in the Irish Coastguard based in Dublin, who had overheard a transmission from the fishing vessel reporting that their skipper was suffering from chest pains and weaknesses in his limbs. 

Belfast Coastguard made direct contact with the skipper on board the vessel and recommended that he be transferred to helicopter as soon as possible.  The Fisheries Protection Vessel (Queen of Ulster) and the Kilkeel RNLI Inshore Lifeboat were both sent to assist.  

The casualty was then taken onboard the Queen of Ulster and brought back to Kilkeel Harbour, arriving at 11.45.  The man was also given first aid by both the crews from the Queen of Ulster and the local lifeboat.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Officer Gary Young said:

"We would like to thank the crew of both the Queen of Ulster and the Kilkeel Lifeboat for their prompt response to this morning’s incident and their crucial role in administering first aid to the casualty.”

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Forth Coastguard coordinated an extensive search for a missing diver in Largo Bay this afternoon.

At 1pm Forth Coastguard was contacted by a member of the public ashore reporting someone waving for help on a boat. Forth Coastguard requested the launch of Kinghorn RNLI lifeboat and sent Leven and St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Teams to the scene.

At 1.37pm Forth Coastguard received a call from Fife Police informing them that one of the two people aboard the boat had called to say that a diver was missing from the boat and the Coastguard was then able to speak with the boat by telephone because the vessels VHF radio was not functioning.

Royal Navy Rescue Helicopter R177 was sent to the scene to join the lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue Teams to search Largo Bay. After a thorough search in very good weather conditions no sign of the missing diver was found. Forth Coastguard stood down the search units at 3.50pm pending a search by Central Scotland Underwater Search Team.

The missing diver is reported to be a local man in his mid to late 30s who chartered the boat locally. The two men who remained on the boat reported that the man had surfaced during the dive in approximately 6 metres of water and requested more weights but did not resurface after this.

Notes to Editors

1. The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities. Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector.

2. Stay safe - before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch

3. Follow us on Twitter. Find us at MCA_media

Cat rescue leads to cliff rescue

An 18 year old woman was rescued last night from a ledge on a cliff at Atherfield Point, Isle of Wight after she slipped 30 feet during an attempt to rescue her cat.

Solent Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue after receiving a 999 call just before . They sent the Ventnor and Needles Coastguard Rescue Teams to the scene with an ambulance.

Coastguard Rescue Officers and a paramedic were lowered to the lady on the ledge. After receiving medical assistance she was pulled back up the cliff on a stretcher. She is now receiving medical attention in hospital. The cat was also recovered safe and well.

Deputy Watch Manager Matthew West said:
“This woman was incredibly lucky to be rescued with relatively minor injuries. We know it’s worrying when pets go missing but cliffs are dangerous places, particularly in the dark. If you think your pet is on the wrong side of a cliff please don’t attempt to rescue them yourself or you too could find yourself in a precarious position on a cliff ledge.”

 Notes to Editors

  1. The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities.  Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector.

  1. Stay safe - before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Find us at MCA_media

Sunday, 20 March 2011


A 90 metre cargo vessel has grounded on a shingle bank north of the needles. The British registered vessel, ‘Paula C’ was reported to Solent Coastguard as grounded at 1.00 pm. Needles Coastguard Rescue Team is keeping watch over the vessel from the Needles lookout and the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat is standing off the vessel.

The vessel has pumped off ballast water in order to lighten the ship.

Tony Wheeler, Solent Coastguard Watch Manager says:

“The vessel is likely to remain aground until around midnight tonight when we hope that it will float off on the high tide. There are nine people onboard. All are safe and well and will remain on the vessel. We are in contact with the ship and its agent.”


Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team and Portland Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre were busy with a lost child, a boy stuck in mud and a dog which had fallen over the cliff yesterday as the pleasant spring weather brought visitors out to the coast.

At 1.15 pm Dorset Police called Portland Coastguard to report that a 5-year-old girl, last seen on the beach, was missing from Charmouth. Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team officers, Lyme Regis RNLI inshore lifeboat and Dorset Police officers all searched for the child. After an intense search, the girl was found safe and well and returned to her grateful family.

Just as the Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team were returning home, Portland Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting that a 10-year-old boy was stuck up to his waist in mud near recent landslides close to Charmouth. There was some concern that adults were also risking becoming stuck in the mud as they tried to free him. The Coastguard team were joined by other colleagues from their team and used specialist mud rescue equipment to recover the child and pass him to waiting paramedics.

Whilst the boy was being rescued from the mud, Portland Coastguard received a separate 999 call reporting that a 3-year-old Labrador called Lola had just fallen over the cliff at Golden Cap, to the east of Charmouth, and was trapped on a ledge six metres down the 190 metre cliff. To prevent the owners
endangering themselves trying to reach the dog, West Bay Coastguard Rescue team were sent to recover Lola. Once Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Team had completed their mud rescue they joined their colleagues at Golden Cap to co-operate with West Bay Coastguards in the successful recovery of Lola.

Allan Norman, Portland Coastguard Watch Manager says:

“Becoming stuck in mud at the beach can be very frightening, particularly for children. Of course, the best preventative measure is to avoid it, but if you do become stuck try not to move around too much as this can result in the suction taking an even firmer hold. Spread your weight as much as possible, remain as calm as you can and call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

“Keep your dog on the lead at the top of cliffs. If your dog does fall over a cliff, do not attempt self rescue. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Coastguards in south-west England and south Wales are warning adults and children to check tide times before they venture along the beach after a spate of incidents involving people cut off by the tide this afternoon. The people involved were caught out by the particularly high spring tides at the moment.

Seven 13-and-14-year-old girls were rescued by Plymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat and taken to Millbay Docks for collection by their parents, after they were cut off by the tide and stranded on rocks at Freathy Beach in Whitsand Bay. The seven children were reported as stranded to Brixham Coastguard at just after 5.00 pm this evening. The Plymouth RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats and the Looe all weather and inshore lifeboats were requested to launch and a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was scrambled.

“Fortunately all seven children are safe and well,” says Brixham Coastguard Watch Manager Mark Satchell. “Please do check tides before you walk along the shore line and make sure that you discuss this with your children too.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Falmouth Coastguard requested the St Agnes RNLI lifeboat to launch and sent the St Agnes Coastguard Rescue Team to cliffs between Trevaunance and Trevellas Porth. A man and a woman who were on the beach had climbed 30ft up the cliff as the tide came in and trapped them. The coastguard team lowered the man and woman to the base of the cliff and they were then recovered by the lifeboat and taken back to shore.

Falmouth Coastguard also requested the Newquay RNLI lifeboat to launch and sent the Newquay Coastguard Rescue Team to Watergate today after a surfer paddled to shore to request that another person on shore contact them and inform them about two 17-year-old boys who were cut off by the tide. The boys were recovered by the lifeboat and brought back to the beach.

Earlier in the day Falmouth Coastguard had also been informed about four 9-year-old children who had been cut off by the tide and were stuck on rocks by Portreath Harbour, although the four managed to wade ashore on their own.

“Falmouth Coastguard dealt with three incidents within a short period of time this afternoon, all of which involved people being cut off by the tide,” says Martin Bidmead, watch officer at Falmouth Coastguard. “The moon is the closest that it has been to Earth in over 18 years and we have the biggest full moon in 14 years, resulting in particularly high tides. These high spring tides seem to have caught many people out, stranding them on rocks and cliffs.  High tide will be even higher tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, reaching 5.7 metres in the morning and again around tea time. Remember to check tides in your area and call the coastguard on 999 if you do find yourself in difficulty.”

Swansea Coastguard has also dealt with three incidents this afternoon involving people cut off by the tide. At 2.45 pm they were informed by the National Coastwatch Institute (NCI) that a man and a woman had been cut off at Worms Head, Rhossili. The Horton RNLI inshore lifeboat was requested to launch and the Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the scene. However, the two people were able to wade back to shore on their own.

About an hour later, Swansea Coastguard was called again, this time to report that three teenagers had been cut off by the tide at Inner Head. Mumbles RNLI inshore lifeboat was requested to scramble and rescued all three and took them to shore. The Mumbles Coastguard Rescue Team also attended this incident. Whilst this rescue was happening Swansea Coastguard also received a report from the NCI at Nells Point that two people had been cut off by the tide on Sully Island, although again, these people managed to wade back to shore.

“Check the tides before you go out along the shore and make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get back before high tide,” says Steve Matthews, Watch Manager at Swansea Coastguard. If you do get cut off and decide to wade back, make absolutely sure that it is safe to do so. If you are in any doubt call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Southampton based Isle of Wight ferry travel and leisure business, Red Funnel, have been awarded the prestigious environmental accreditation ISO 14001:2004, by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

ISO 14001:2004 is highly sought after and one that the team at Red Funnel have been working towards since achieving the quality standards accreditation ISO 9001:2008, 3 years ago.

The ISO 14001:2004 accreditation sets out environmental management standards that are focused on ensuring organisations are committed to minimising their operations impact on the environment, comply with all applicable laws, regulations, environmental standards, and continual improvements to environmental sustainability.

I am delighted to be able to present this Award of ISO 14001 to the Red Funnel Group.

Red Funnel Group is only the second company to be certified for ISO 14001 by our Quality Assurance department. We are the only flag state which offers this service to the clients.
Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive Officer, MCA said:

Sunday, 13 March 2011


A crew member that fell overboard from a landing craft when it was anchoring off the Sound of Jura this evening has been airlifted to hospital.

Clyde Coastguard were alerted to the incident at 19.25 by a 999 call from one of the owners of the vessel, who reported that a crew member from the landing craft, the ‘Forth Guardsman’ had fallen overboard when anchoring the vessel, and had been trapped between the anchor cable and the vessel and sustained injuries.

Clyde Coastguard sent Rescue 177 helicopter from HMS Gannet, the Islay Lifeboat and the Port Charlotte Coastguard Rescue Team to the scene.  Two other vessels that were in proximity to the Forth Guardsman also proceeded.  The casualty was recovered by the vessel’s rescue boat and subsequently transferred into the lifeboat at 20.13 before being airlifted into the helicopter to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

Clyde Coastguard Watch Manager Tarik Yassin said:

“The crew member had been assisting with anchoring the vessel just south of the Sound of Jura when he fell overboard.  A Royal Navy Helicopter, lifeboat and Coastguard Team proceeded to his rescue and he was transferred by helicopter to hospital at 20.15.”


Two divers that were reported to the Coastguard as having not returned to their dive vessel after diving off Bolt Head near Salcombe this morning have been located and brought safely ashore.

At 11.18 this morning the dive boat ‘Totnes Diver One’ contacted Brixham Coastguard to report that they had two divers that had been due back to the vessel at 11.00 and had not returned.  Brixham Coastguard requested the launch of both Salcombe RNLI Lifeboats to begin a search and also tasked the Coastguard helicopter ‘Rescue 106’ from Portland.  They also contacted the National Coastwatch Institute (NCI) based at Prawle Point, who reported back that they could see both divers just south of the Mew Stone.  Brixham Coastguard then initiated a call between themselves, the Salcome Inshore Lifeboat and the NCI, who guided the lifeboat towards the divers.  The divers were then recovered into the dive vessel, and did not require medical attention.  Prawle Coastguard Rescue Team were also tasked to meet the divers on their return to shore.

Brixham Coastguard Watch Officer Paul Myers said:

“This is a great example of the Coastguard working with other agencies to ensure a swift resolution of an incident along with the use of embedded local knowledge.  We were able to work with the National Coastwatch Institute to locate the divers, guide the lifeboat towards them and ensure they were both brought safely ashore.”

Friday, 11 March 2011


Two men were rescued this evening after contacting Swansea Coastguard concerned that the tide was coming in around them as they were angling at Broadsands near Ilfracombe.

The two anglers initially called Swansea Coastguard at 19.45 this evening to get information on the tide times as they were concerned that they might become cut off by the tide.  Although they were keen to stress that they didn’t think they needed help, Swansea Coastguard sent the Ilfracombe Coastguard Rescue Team to the scene to report back to the Operations Room and ensure that they were able to get safely back to shore.

Upon arriving on scene, the Coastguard Rescue Team reported that there was six feet of swell and a rising tide and so Swansea Coastguard sent the Ilfracombe All Weather and Inshore lifeboats to rescue the two anglers.  They were safely brought ashore at 21.15.

Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager David  Jones said:

“Although the two anglers contacted us as they were concerned about the rising tide, they were also concerned that they didn’t want to put the Coastguard out, and were hoping they would not need our help.  In fact, they did absolutely the right thing by calling the Coastguard, as they eventually were not able to get safely ashore and needed rescuing by the lifeboat.

Members of the public should always ensure they have up to date tide times and check the weather before going walking or angling on the coast, especially when visiting areas that are prone to being cut off by the tide.”


Press Notice: 71-11                                                                         11 March 2011

At 00.27 am Falmouth Coastguard received a Mayday distress call from the fishing vessel ‘Ben My Chree’ with five crew onboard.

Their distress call reported that they were taking water and sinking 17 nautical miles  East North East of the Isles of Scilly. Falmouth Coastguard immediately broadcast a Mayday relay, and requested the scramble of Rescue Helicopter R193 and St Marys All Weather Lifeboat.

 Another Newlyn registered fishing vessel ‘CKS’ responded to the broadcast and proceeded from 7nm away at best speed. The wind was a force 5 from the west south west with a moderate to rough sea. Once on scene R193 attempted to lower the Coastguard pump down onto the vessel but this proved impossible due to the weather conditions.

The water level in the vessel was still rising and the crew were getting very concerned, so R193 winched four off the vessel. The skipper was the last to leave and even though he had knocked the engine out of gear when he left the wheel house the vessel continued to proceed in a very erratic manner due to the mizzen sail being set.

This meant that R193 could not winch him off so he was taken off onto the St Mary’s Lifeboat and from there winched to R193. All five crew were then transferred to Culdrose where they were met by a few members of the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team who transported them back to their homes in Newlyn. The ‘CKS’ was released to continue and the St Mary’s lifeboat stood alongside the ‘Ben My Chree’ until first light.

 As the night progressed the ‘Ben My Chree’ sank lower in the water, the engine stopped, its AIS ceased to transmit and its navigation lights went out. As the vessel was drifting across the Lands End Traffic Separation scheme Falmouth Coastguard made a Security Broadcast to all vessels in the area to be aware and to keep a sharp lookout and a wide berth.

Marc Thomas, Watch Manager, Falmouth Coastguard said:

The crew of the 'Ben My Chree' were calm and professional in a very uncertain situation and the skipper passed all the necessary information to ensure a swift rescue. The crew of R193 tried repeatedly to lower the Coastguard pump onboard but were unable to do so, but they managed to recover four of the crew off the fishing vessel in challenging conditions.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


At 03.53 pm yesterday, Swansea Coastguard received a 999 call from a man reporting that he had got his leg stuck in the rocks near the old pier at Weston Super Mare.
Initial evaluation of the incident, is that the tide was flooding and the casualty was stuck in rocks and could not release his leg. Weston Super Mare Coastguard Rescue Team, Severn Sector Manager, Fire and Ambulance were called out and Hover craft Firefly and WSM RNLI Inshore Lifeboat have been brought to immediate readiness.

In a joint operation involving the Coastguard team, fire officers and members of the Heart team, the man was released from his predicament. He was stretchered and handed over to the care of the Ambulance officers who transported him to hospital for further assessment.

Steve Matthews, Watch Manager, Swansea Coastguard said:
This man was fortunate in that he had a phone with him and he was able to dial 999 to tell us exactly where he was. He remained calm throughout and was able to give distinguishing landmarks to the coastguard operations room, which helped in providing a speedy response

Sunday, 6 March 2011


At 08.15 am, Aberdeen coastguard received a telephone call from the tanker Palva.

The crew called to inform the Coastguard that they had discovered that one of the crew was missing at 06.00 am. He had been last seen when he had gone off shift at 02.00 am.

Aberdeen Coastguard broadcast a mayday relay which was responded to by the platform standby vessels VOS Explorer, Grampian Corsair and other vessels in the area. The Palva has also turned around and is navigating back on its original course. A rescue helicopter was requested and Rescue 131 was scrambled.

The search area is 60 miles long by 8 miles wide due to the distance travelled by the tanker before discovering the man missing.

The motor tanker is a Finnish flagged vessel and was on passage from Kirkwall to Rotterdam.

Kevin Brown, Watch Manager, Aberdeen coastguard said:

We are utilising the assistance offered by the platform support vessels in the search for this crewman. The search area is very large, but everything possible is being done in the faint hope of finding the man.


A Phillipino seaman has visited the Rescue coordination centre to say thank you to the Stornoway Coastguard for the assistance he received from the Coastguard on the 2nd of March.

The Coastguard Helicopter based at Stornoway airlifted him off his
Dutch cargo vessel the MV Sampogracht which was on passage from Canada to
Norway with a cargo of aluminum and took him to the Western Isles Hospital.

The ship was 10 miles west of South Uist when the man was evacuated. The first attempt earlier that day had to be abandoned due to a storm and rough seas.

 The 44 year old father of three who was the cook on board had sustained serious head injuries and lacerations after falling onboard in the rough sea conditions.

The cook was evacuated to the A & E department at the Western Isles Hospital. He was admitted for 2 days before being discharged into the care of Stornoway
Fishermens Mission who provided accommodation, clothing, financial aid, and assisted in his repatriation back home to the Phillipines on the 5th March.

Friday, 4 March 2011


Press Notice No:  67-11                                                                        4 March, 2011
At 07.20 pm, this evening, Hampshire Police contacted Solent Coastguard and informed them that they had received a report of a man seen jumping from Northam Bridge at Bittern Manor on the Itchen River.

Coastguard rescue teams from Southampton and Hillhead were deployed to both sides of the Itchen River to commence a search for a person in the water.  The Coastguard helicopter was scrambled, Hamble Independent Lifeboat, a launch from Associated British Ports and local Police units, also undertook water and shore-side searches.
After an extensive search of the River Itchen, marinas and foreshore, police traced the caller's telephone and later apprehended a male in the vicinity who admitted to making a malicious call to the emergency services, which has resulted in many units being deployed.
The man is now under investigation by the Police.
Mike O’Sullivan, Watch Manager, Solent Coastguard said:

During the course of the search a powerful laser beam light was fired into the cab of the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter. These hand-held lasers are highly dangerous and can cause a pilot to become distracted or even blinded putting all the crew at risk.
The crew of the Coastguard Helicopter, using their onboard video camera were able to obtain footage of the incident which is to be passed to the Police for further investigation.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


Over the last month Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team has been called to attend six incidents involving vehicles becoming trapped on the Holy Island Causeway. Many of the motorists involved have dismissed visible warning signs and causeway crossing time tables, risking their lives to cross as the tide begins to flood the causeway. They are effectively driving into the North Sea.

During the summer thousands of tourists visit Holy Island. These tourists bring enormous benefits to Holy Island and nearly all of them cross to and from Holy Island safely. But a minority still put themselves and others at risk.

Paul Duffy, who is the Amble Coastguard Sector Manager says:

As a Coastguard and a local to Holy Island I see how harrowing it is when members of the public get trapped in their cars on the Holy Island Causeway as the tide is flooding. These incidents could very easily end tragically. Thankfully, due to the dedication and professionalism of local Coastguard teams from Holy Island, Seahouses and Berwick and RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats from Seahouses as well as RAF search and rescue helicopters from RAF Boulmer, no-one has been seriously hurt or injured on the Holy Island Causeway. However many vehicles have been written off by the ingress of sea water and the damage caused by the strong tidal currents.

My team and I are concerned about the number of causeway incidents in the last month. We hope that this is not an indicator of how many call-outs we might receive during our busy summer months.

Please check tide tables before you travel to or from Holy Island and observe the local warning signs. If you have visitors, or work in the tourism industry, please help us to spread the word, so that people leave us with pleasant memories of our wonderful coastline. Thank you.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


A male motorcyclist was rescued from the mud this evening after he rode his motorbike off a harbour wall and into the mud in Watchet Harbour.

Swansea Coastguard was called by Avon and Somerset Police at 10.30 pm to request assistance with the search for and rescue of the man. The Watchet Coastguard Rescue Team, backed up by the Minehead Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to the scene. By the time that they arrived the police helicopter had already located the man, who was by this time up to his armpits in mud.

Two coastguards from the Watchet team went out to the man using their mud rescue equipment, secured a line on him, extracted him from the mud and brought him to shore. The man was met by an awaiting ambulance and is being checked by paramedics.

David Jones, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager says:

“Conditions were favourable for this operation tonight with good visibility and force 3 north easterly winds. It is fortunate that the incident happened at low tide too.”