A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the RNLI and HM Coastguard laying out each organisation’s responsibilities for search and rescue operations in the UK. John Payne, Director of Lifesaving Operations for the RNLI, and Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, met at Dover Lifeboat Station to sign the MOU on 1 October.
HM Coastguard and the RNLI have worked together throughout both their histories towards a common purpose of saving lives. This Memorandum of Understanding formalises that process in a way that can demonstrate their commitment to joint working and building on what is a very positive relationship.
HM Coastguard has responsibility for tasking and coordination of operations and the RNLI provide substantial resources towards saving lives at sea with lifeboats and crew.
Regular communication and joint training are key to the successful relationship and with the signing of this MOU, it is hoped that that relationship will be strengthened further and together the organisations can work to reduce loss of life around the coast of the UK and designated inland waters.
Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, said, “HM Coastguard coordinates civil maritime and aeronautical search and rescue in the UK but we cannot do this alone. The close working relationship we have with the RNLI is very special and the signing of this MOU exhibits our continued collaboration and dedication to preventing loss of life at sea and along the coast.”
John Payne, Director of Lifesaving Operations for the RNLI, said, “The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and our close cooperation with our tasking agency in the UK, HM Coastguard, helps to make this possible. Our volunteer lifeboat crews and staff work side-by-side on search and rescue operations with HM Coastguard teams up and down the UK’s coastline and we are pleased to officially recognise this relationship.”