I can’t say I know much about diving, there are friends & family that participate, but I only know what they tell me.
The pastime is becoming more popular and, in theory, it is much safer than ever before, but accidents happen. More people enjoying diving from a wide range of age groups also means a greater risk of illness related incidents can arise.
From the 2010 MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) Report on Diving Incidents, I have found the following information:
The yearly average is 194 incidents over the 19 year span. It is a shame that the report does not look into any factors that may affect tends or influences.
I am drawn to the report statement, that follows…
“the district with the highest individual total is Portland having the single highest recorded number of diving incidents totalling 41, not surprising when you consider that Portland is one of the most popular diving areas in the country.”
Yet, this MRCC (Portland) is set to close along with the 9 others in the 2nd chart below.
As I have read many MCA Reports, some of which feature in previous Blogs, I am struck by the compelling evidence that that MRCC’s are NOT being closed for any Operational reasons.
It is quite obvious from MCA’s own data that the busiest most experienced stations are the casualties to Political aims and nothing whatsoever to do with any form of Modernisation or improvement.
Of the 232 incidents there were 12 fatalities.
Over 66% of incidents occur in MRCC areas that are to be closed.
If or When the MRCC’s do close, there will be greater dangers facing anyone in need of help from HM Coastguard, especially as the MCA report had the following comment:
“The greatest single incident type remains decompression illness (DCI) accounting for 66 incidents alone with a further 32 attributed to rapid ascent”
DCI incidents are extremely time critical, therefore need assistance in the shortest possible time. This may not be achievable from the remaining MRCC, as they on the whole have the least amount of Diving related experience and like the MOC (Maritime Operation Centre) that will act as the National call centre; the local knowledge* of where each wreck/dive site is may not be instantly recognisable. Tasking of appropriate local response could be delayed.*
*MCA’s own documents record the difficulties in having a central database for all UK locations & place names due to incompatibilities in the way records are stored at each MRCC. No formal plan to rectify this has been put in place at the time of writing & many MRCCs will close before one can be instigated.
Summary: There is NO operational basis for the Closures, this is a Political exercise that has scant regard for lives that are being put at risk.
Written by Coastal Joe