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Coastguard in Caithness
Casualties Contact Coastguard News
Red Tide Exercise 22 August 2003
is an on-call emergency organisation responsible for the initiation and
co-ordination of civil maritime search and rescue within the United
Kingdom Search and Rescue Region.
Founded in 1822, originally to guard the coasts against smuggling, Coastguard's role today is the very different one of guarding and saving life at sea, or those who are at risk of injury or death on the cliffs or shoreline of the UK.
Coastguard in Caithness is administered from the Sector Base in Wick, which is controlled by a Sector Manager (SM). The SM is responsible for the management of sector resources and accident prevention, education, liaison, PR work and administration. There is also an office at Scrabster run by a Sector Officer. This office however, is due for closure in 2 years time.
Whilst the SM is responsible for the day to day management of the sector, it is more than likely that you know of the work of Coastguard through the local Auxiliary Coastguard Service.
The Auxiliary Coastguard Service in Caithness consists of about 30 volunteers split into 3 Cliff Rescue Companies (CRC's) based at Duncansby, Scrabster and Wick. Each company is led by a Station Officer who is responsible for the proper care and maintenance of all premises, vehicles, equipment, etc kept at the station and for ensuring that the equipment is always ready for immediate use in an emergency.
The teams are comprised of Initial Response (IRT) and Back-up Response Team (BRT) members. The IRT members are the first to be called to the scene of an incident. Their duties are to investigate the report and advise the local rescue centre what, if any rescue response is required on scene. Where the nature of the incident is known, local rescue centres may call both IRT and BRT to respond immediately.