On 22nd January, Geoff Matthews of HM Coastguard gave a fascinating talk about the major reforms taking place within the Coastguard service. The changes arise from the advances in information and communications technology over the last 2 decades. It was clear that Geoff firmly believes that the new situation will represent a major step forward. However the transition will, as he said “present some challenges”. We agree with that sentiment. A new organisation, with some new skills is bound to present a challenge, and there will be bumps and potholes along the way. We wish the service the good fortune to apply their professional skills to negotiate them successfully.
At the same time, the withdrawal by MOD from civil search and rescue (and the retirement of the long range Nimrod aircraft) has led to one of the largest private contracts let by government for new all civilian SAR (Search and rescue) coverage. But as HMCG has been contracting civil helicopter services for many years, this change is just one more part of the reorganisation that has to be managed.
In his talk (part 1 of the video) Geoff addresses all these issues, and then addresses questions from the audience (part 2 of the video}.
PART 1 – the lecture
PART 2 – the discussion
The discussion was held in the conference centre of Southampton Solent University