Croyde Bay and Hope Cove incidents: a message from HM Coastguard

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Our first priority will always be the safety of our Coastguard Rescue Officers and the general public. We strive to ensure that our operating procedures, search and rescue techniques and responses are not only consistent but are continually reviewed as part of our post-mission review process.

Following a recent incident at Croyde Bay, we carried out an incident review and identified a training need. Refresher training was offered to two Coastguard Rescue Officers; one Coastguard Rescue Officer agreed to the refresher training and the other Coastguard Rescue Officer regrettably decided to resign.

A second incident involved two coastguard rescue officers attempting to carry out an unsafe recovery using an untested rope tied around a bumper of a privately owned vehicle at Hope Cove. In these situations our safe systems of work dictate that we cordon off the area to prevent members of the public from jeopardising their safety or risking their lives. This breached our safe systems of work and placed the officers at unnecessary risk. The officers were on official Coastguard duty and wore Coastguard uniforms.

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