The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): I am pleased to announce the targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for 2010-11.
1. Maintain the quality of maritime emergency co-ordination and response by the Coastguard.
2a. Helicopters tasked to respond to incidents will be airborne within 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night in at least 98 per cent. of cases.
2b. At each MCA search and rescue helicopter base, a helicopter will be available at least 98 per cent. of the contracted time to respond to incidents.
3. Meet the internationally required targets to inspect foreign vessels in UK ports under port state control arrangements, with an increasing emphasis on inspecting available ships judged to be high risk.
4. Maintain the quality of the UK Ship Register by reducing the level of deficiencies recorded on UK ships inspected abroad, and maintain a position on the Paris MOU white list which is comparable to registers of a similar size and reputation.
5. As a category 1 responder, continue to meet the provisions of the Civil Contingencies Act including engagement with local resilience forums (LRF).
6. Respond promptly to potential and actual pollution from ships around the UK coast, drawing effectively on resources including our emergency tugs, and following the procedures set out in the national contingency plan.
The MCA will also continue with their programme of work covering the following safety themes:
Seafarer Fatigue-working with the shipping industry and seafarer unions on a coherent strategy to reduce seafarer fatigue.
Fishing Vessel Safety-working with the fishing industry to improve the safety of small fishing vessels (under 15 metres).
Recreational Safety-working with the agency’s partner organisations (including the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Royal Yachting Association), to promote the wearing of lifejackets within the leisure sector and recreational safety more generally.
Vessel Traffic Management-identifying the future requirements of sea space management and the role the agency may perform.
The agency will also monitor its performance through a range of service standards and measured outcomes which will be reported in its published annual report and accounts.
Photo supplied by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory).