Monday, 12 April 2010

Maritime and Coastguard Agency All at Sea (well three of them anyway)

Yet more nonsense from a Government agency. This time, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Part of the north of Scotland coastline has been left with just three volunteer coastguards when there ought to be 10. The volunteers have left the Wick service in support of their station commander, who resigned after being accused of gross misconduct.
So what constitutes gross misconduct in the Coastguard?

Well – it’s ‘swearing’.

Norman Macleod, 63, swore while talking to his Aberdeen-based sector officer, Sandy Taylor, during a search. When told that this sort of language was “unprofessional”, he apologised. It should be noted that Mr Macleod’s sweary word was not aimed at anyone. Macleod was later given an apology by Mr Taylor, who accepted they had been working in a stressful situation at the time.
That’s OK then. All settled.

Enter the ‘Management’, this time in the guise of Coastal Safety Manager Ian Burgess. He tells Mr Macleod that he has two options. He could be suspended and given 10 days to appeal, or he could resign. In the face of such preposterous nonsense Mr Macleod, resigned.
You have to wonder what the fuck’s going on here. That a man with such experience, he was local station officer at Wick since 1982, was put in such a position.
Remarking on the loss of Mr Macleod and the other experienced volunteers the Coastal Safety Manager claimed that the area was well covered by the other stations, while there still remained three volunteers at Wick plus a lifeboat. But will Health and Safety allow just three men to crew the lifeboat?

None of this seems to worry the ‘Management’ though. As he said, “I am disappointed but these things sometimes happen and we just have to live with it.”
As long as no one dies from it then.

If this is really down to someone swearing then the Coastguard have some serious issues to address over what they consider to be their priorities. Those priorities should be about saving lives. I’m sure people being rescued from a sinking boat couldn’t give a fuck if the guy saving their lives was swearing over the radio.
Sailing types though, are probably made of stronger stuff than the delicate wee petals at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Coastal Safety Manager Job Description:
Responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective management of HM Coastguard staff in the region, to meet Business Plan requirements and for maintaining the high quality of operational standards and results within the region.