'Serious' staff shortages at Swansea Coastguard, claims union
SWANSEA Coastguard is short-staffed, a union has claimed.
The Public and Commercial Services Union claimed the Bracelet Bay station, known as a maritime coordination and rescue centre, had 13 instead of 22 rescue coordinators.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which runs HM Coastguard, has since stated that the current staff total is in fact 17. It said the second of two recent recruitment campaigns was under way.
Swansea Coastguard is one several stations earmarked for closure as part of UK modernisation plans for HM Coastguard.
The PCS said there were big staff shortages at Aberdeen, Dover, Liverpool, Shetland and Thames in Essex.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is deeply troubling that, at the coastguard’s busiest time, there are such large holes in staffing.
“Officers have been leaving in droves because of the Government’s ill-thought through plans and ministers and senior officials need to address this urgently.”
The MCA said its first recruitment campaign had resulted in 28 watch officer vacancies filled.
In a statement it added: “Currently, where a maritime rescue coordination centre is experiencing reduced staffing levels, established ‘pairing’ arrangements are used.
“This means each MRCC can be connected to at least one other MRCC that will provide mutual support.”