2022 Jersey Coastguard Annual Report
From Jersey Coastguard
15th February 2023
Jersey Coastguard has published its latest annual report, which shows that 2022 was the busiest year since the team started digitally recording search and rescue incidents in 2016.
There were 206 search and rescue (SAR) incidents recorded, 4,405 commercial vessel movements in and out of St Helier Harbour and 345 deployments of a pilot, providing navigational assistance to ships approaching and leaving the harbour.
Coastguard and VTS Manager, Dan Downey, said: “The warm summer weather saw many islanders and visitors taking to the sea and beaches, resulting in an expected increase in incidents. Passenger vessels also returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“Last year also saw several large-scale search and rescue incidents during which we worked closely with UK and French coastguards, strengthening our relationships and sharing expertise and resources. The safe recovery of two people on board a light aircraft which ditched into the sea in November was made possible by our local search and rescue community as well as the working partnerships with neighbouring Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres.”
Jersey is a member of the Anglo-French Accidents Technical Group (AFATG), cooperates with the MANCHEPLAN (the Anglo-French Joint Maritime Contingency Plan for the English Channel), and is a member of the UK Search and Rescue Committee. These memberships enhance Jersey’s close working relationship with colleagues in Guernsey, France and the UK, and enable participants to improve response procedures and learn about the latest technological advances in SAR equipment.
The relationships also enable Jersey to call on additional air and sea search capability, including lifeboats, planes, helicopters, and offshore support vessels like MV Freja and Deep Cygnus, both of which were deployed during the major incident in December.
The most common reasons for calling the Coastguard for assistance in 2022 were equipment failure (48) people appearing to be in difficulty (27) being cut off by incoming tide (23) and concern for someone’s welfare (21). Coastguards noted that there was a rise in the number of people being cut off by the tide – both tourists and local residents. A social media campaign during 2021 saw a reduction in the numbers, and new campaigns and signage will be rolled out before this year’s summer season to enhance public safety.
Anyone going out to sea is advised to log a traffic report with Jersey Coastguard so they know their passage information, the number of people on board and their expected time of arrival or return to Jersey. This information can be useful to Jersey Coastguard if a mariner experiences difficulties at sea. In 2022 there were 17,264 traffic reports lodged with the Coastguard, many of which were logged with the Trace app, which was created by one of the team in 2020. Jersey Coastguard is hoping it will continue to grow in popularity in 2023.