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Celebrating importance and impact of women in HM Coastguard

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From successful rescue missions to working with their “second family”, members of HM Coastguard, from all over the UK, are celebrating their roles and experiences within the maritime industry. As part of International Day for Women in Maritime , they are also recognising the importance of more women joining the sector and its impact. International Day for Women in Maritime (18 May), is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of women in maritime, as well as identifying areas of improvement for gender equality. Bex Owen, Karen Mackenzie, Olivia Letchford and Molly Luke have been part of HM Coastguard for a number of years, and all believe this is a day worth marking. Not only to recognise how far the Coastguard and wider Maritime and Coastguard Agency has come, but to encourage more women to follow suit. Bex has been the Senior Coastal Operations Officer across the coast of south Wales for three years and, off the northeast coast of England, Molly is Station Officer for the

Girl rescued from between a rock and a hard place

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Coastguards supported the operation (Photo: Lee Bell/Aberdyfi Coastguard Rescue Team) It was a race against tide and time for HM Coastguard and fellow emergency services to rescue a young child who was trapped in rock armour at Tywyn beach in North Wales. HM Coastguard received the 999 call from a member of the public at around 3.15pm on Sunday 21 April and quickly dispatched multiple emergency services teams and specialists to safely rescue the child from a dangerous and challenging situation.   The youngster was stuck between the large, heavy boulders and the tide was coming in quickly.  Skilled teams in HM Coastguard’s Holyhead Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) coordinated the rescue.   It involved Aberdyfi and Barmouth Coastguard Rescue Teams, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Welsh Ambulance Service, air ambulance doctors and assistance from a local excavator. North Wales Police was also in support at the scene.  The child was extracted safe and well in a delicate

Maritime and Coastguard Agency documentary ready to return to TV screens

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A Coastguard Rescue Officer rope technician inches over a cliff The wait is nearly over for f ans of the hit Channel 5 documentary Coastguard : Search and Rescue SO S as the brand - new second series is primed to air at 8 pm on Sunday 28 April .   The first outing in 2023 attracted more than 5 million viewers . Now t he show is returning for another eagerly anticipated run of real-life stories about t he people working for the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the p ublic who find themselves in danger by the coast and at sea.    The series of six weekly episodes will feature r ound-the-clock emergency response operations by HM Coastguard , with c ameras capturing staff from maritime rescue coordination centres , c o astguard r escue t eams , and search and rescue helicopters – always on alert to respond to people in need of help .   Stephanie George, Team Leader at Holyhead Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre The spotlight also shines on

HM Coastguard teams hailed with Department for Transport Rescue Shield

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From left: Trevor Cutler (Newhaven CRT), Mark Francis (Birling Gap), Sadi Hopgood (Eastbourne) and Virginia McVea (Photo: Eddie Mitchell) Three volunteer Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) in Sussex have been awarded the Department for Transport Rescue Shield for their outstanding dedication and courage responding to many particularly challenging emergencies on steep and dangerous cliffs. The prestigious accolade was presented by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Chief Executive, Virginia McVea, to the CRTs and full-time officers working from Birling Gap, Eastbourne and Newhaven.  The volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers who make up the teams are regularly sent to deploy their rope rescue skills on the vertiginous cliffs of the Sussex coast.  Emergency responses often require long hours, descending onto precarious ledges, and sometimes careful communication with the people in danger. It is not unusual for CRTs to be tasked to several incidents in a single day or for rescues to also invo

Team ‘humbled and privileged’ to receive highest form of civic honour

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Coastguard Rescue Officers in Hartlepool have been awarded the highest form of civic honour, to recognise their work and contribution to the borough.  After seeking nominations from the community, Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Team has been awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by Hartlepool Borough Council, for always helping those in need. From lifesaving search and rescue call outs to supporting events and happenings in the town, the work of HM Coastguard has not gone unnoticed by locals. The prestigious honour was awarded as a huge thank you to the team during a civic ceremony held on 18 March, presented by the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Shane Moore. Following the event, Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Station Officer Garry Carden said: “The team is humbled and privileged to receive such an honour, even to be nominated is something really special. “We don’t become coastguard rescue officers for the recognition or praise, we just want to help keep people

‘Times have changed’ - Inspiring a generation for both men and women

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“We should be using our roles to promote inclusivity and a workplace for all, that’s what it’s all about.” As part of this year’s International Women’s Day, the Deputy to the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) has highlighted the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone. In 2018 Lisa McAuliffe became the first woman to be appointed a Deputy to the SOSREP. This is a role which during maritime emergencies empowers Lisa to make time critical decisions on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport during a shipping incident, or the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. This is a role she takes seriously but also enjoys. Lisa says it is the combination of both men and women that brings “different dimensions and perspective to a team”, adding “work should never be about gender, but about recognising the individual”. In 1970 women were allowed to join HM Coastguard for the first time, and