HM Coastguard visit Isles of Scilly to carry out important rope equipment inspections

Throughout these difficult and challenging times, our staff and teams right across Her Majesty’s Coastguard have been working extra hard to ensure we are operating as close to business as usual as possible.

We have all had to change the way we lead our lives during the period of Covid-19 by following Government guidance and lockdown measures, as well as practising social distancing. But, that has not stopped us for one moment from continuing to work behind-the-scenes and striving to ensure the highest safety and practical standards are always met.

A whole range of necessary work is ongoing to keep people safe along our coastlines and at sea during an especially busy period for us.

This involved, last week (3rd June), Coastguard Operations Area Commander Martin Leslie and Senior Coastal Operations Officers Marc Thomas and Rob Farr – all of whom are based out of Falmouth – making the short flight from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly to carry out important and thorough inspections.


It is really important to mention that Government guidance and social distancing practices were observed throughout their journey, which saw the small aircraft in which they were travelling in only being able to carry 50% of its usual capacity of 16 people. Appropriate levels of PPE were also worn by all on-board given that passengers spent more than 15 minutes with other people in a restricted space.

On arrival, Martin, Marc and Rob carried out two half-yearly legal inspections of rope equipment on the same day, ensuring that our combined operational rope rescue commitment for the Isles of Scilly is suitably maintained.

The team used Coastguard vehicles, Inter Island jet boats, a Coastguard all-terrain vehicle and did plenty of walking to complete the necessary tasks, before staying overnight in St Mary’s Coastguard Station on the Isles of Scilly, using emergency camp beds and sleeping bags which had been initially sent out at the beginning of this year to cover any accommodation issues during the Covid-19 emergency phase.

Martin said: “It was a busy yet important day for us to travel to the Isles of Scilly and make sure our rope equipment in coastal areas meets working at height requirements. The work of our on-call volunteers during this incredibly challenging period of time as well as our full-time staff, many of whom are also rescue practitioners, plays an integral role in our ability to carry out such behind-the-scenes work and gives us that capacity to always respond to incidents through search and rescue.”

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