In its response to the MCA’s consultation on the revised proposals for Coastguard modernisation the RYA has called for a clear understanding of what is meant by 'local knowledge'.

It also questions the weight given to ‘regulation’, identified as a major theme by the Independent Review Team’s Executive Summary of the Report on the Consultation Responses.  

Read the RYA response.

Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager: “A clear understanding of what 'local knowledge' is in the context of current coastguard operations and within the future concept of operations is not set out in either consultation.  

“The inevitable result is that there is a wide range of meanings and expectations.  The RYA believes that in order to limit further contradictory comments among respondents, including ourselves, it would be desirable to explain what is meant by 'local knowledge', how it is currently acquired and how it will be acquired within the new national network.  

“Also, how it will be maintained and validated, how it will be integrated with GIS data for incident response purposes and finally, how it will be accessed and used by incident response teams locally and nationally.  

“We commented on 'local knowledge' in our response to the initial consultation but given that the loss of 'local knowledge' was by far the biggest area of concern for respondents to that consultation it seems imperative that guidance is published that will provide clarity and reassurance”.  

The RYA also questions why ‘regulation’ has been identified as a major theme in the Independent Review Team’s Executive Summary of the Report on the Consultation Responses, given that no detail or analysis has been provided in the main body of the report.  

“The RYA would challenge the assumption that regulation of itself would lead to greater safety and less call on the Coastguard services” Stuart Carruthers.