Jersey Coastguard Officers undertake vital Search & Rescue Training

From Jersey Coastguard,
07 March 2018

​Officers from Jersey Coastguard and Maritime Operations Centre have recently taken part in a series of intensive Search and Rescue (SAR) training courses, carried out by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Peter Rollason, Head of Technical Training with HM Coastguard, the search and rescue arm of the MCA says there are three main aspects in the programme. "We've taken officers through Maritime Search Planning and Mission Co-ordination. The course gets into what needs to happen for search and rescue plans to have the maximum chance of success, particularly focusing on roles and factors during a major maritime incident. Lives depend on it being right".

Search & Rescue training from HM Coastguard is based on national and international experience and expertise. Each element of the course is assessed by standards as laid down by the MCA and observed by senior members of Jersey Coastguard. Aaron Gavey, Jersey Coastguard and VTS Manager, says, "Training courses such as these are essential in enhancing officers' skills and ensuring protocols and procedures are in line with national and international standards. It also gives the public, and in particular water users peace of mind that our staff are trained to the highest level in line with the standards set by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the UK".

This training programme was agreed as part of a review and development event, which both Jersey Coastguard and the Maritime & Coastal Agency attended in 2017. 


The three principal aspects of the training programme, which all staff are expected to take part in include the following:  

  • SARIS – This is a Search & Rescue Information System for Search planning, this models the projected drift of a person/vessel or debris and gives the Coastguard an area to search. This valuable software is used when we receive reports of a drifting vessel or when we are alerted to a person/object in the water. We can also use this system to predict where a found object may come from saving valuable time.
  • SMC – Search Mission Co-ordinator. This course is aimed at senior officers, to enable them to professionally manage a major maritime incident or multiple incidents at any one time. Examples of the course content include incident management, communications management, leadership, resource management, casualty care along with working with other key stakeholders. The course program is set by the International Maritime Organization via their International Maritime Search & Rescue manual.
  • MC – Mission Co-ordinator. This course is designed by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency for Maritime Officers who deal with day to day operations/routine incidents such as broken down vessels and people who are cut off or stranded. This enables the incident to be run professionally and efficiently, whilst maintaining the key objective of assisting the vessel or people at risk


Jersey Coastguard