Jersey Coastguard has released its Annual Report for 2019, covering core activities for the year together with those for St Helier’s Vessel Traffic Services (VTS).
This is the first time the report has been published and key findings in 2019 highlight the following:
- Jersey Coastguard co-ordinated 170 ‘incidents’, with the most common reporting equipment or mechanical failure (42 reports). This was followed by “concerns for welfare” (28 reports), “vessel in difficulty” primarily due to inclement weather (15 reports) and “cut off by an incoming tide” (10 reports);
- The number of times Search & Rescue (SAR) assets were launched was 20% lower than the previous year with 107 launches in 2019 compared to 128 in 2018.
- The RNLI Beach Lifeguard Service, which operates at numerous coastal locations over the summer reported a total of 246 requests for assistance. The most common request was for first aid incidents related to Weaver fish stings (114 reports). The remaining incident requests included rip currents (30 reports), followed by surfing and bodyboarding incidents (11 reports);
- St Helier VTS assisted 3,400 commercial shipping movements through Jersey waters;
2019 also saw an increase in sea safety awareness activity undertaken by Jersey Coastguard officers. As well as continuing its popular education programme among local schools and public interest groups the team shared new and innovative ways of highlighting important safety messages through the increasing use of social media and attendance at public roadshows/events. In total 4,526 primary and secondary school children were educated on beach safety and the making of 999 calls. 71 familiarisation visits to the Marine Operations Centre at Maritime House were arranged, including a successful public ‘Open Day’ in November 2019.
St Helier Vessel Traffic Services launched its inaugural VTS Annual Service Provision Survey among maritime companies, including pilots, shipping agents and vessels, in order to gain a better understanding of the worthiness of the services provided by them. More than 90% of the feedback was positive and VTS plans to widen this service provision survey to a larger range of users in 2020.
Commenting on the Annual Report, which has been published online for the first time, Jersey’s Harbourmaster, Captain Bill Sadler, said: “This report gives a real insight into the professional work Jersey Coastguard undertakes alongside its partners in the search and rescue community, to deliver a resilient SAR framework, which works together to meet Jersey’s international obligation as a Coastal State and proactively improve sea safety around our shores. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in Search and Rescue in Jersey 2019 and look forward to building on last year’s successes over the next twelve months.”
A copy of the report can be viewed online at https://www.ports.je/jerseyharbours/Pages/ReportsDocuments.aspx