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Old 03 December 2007, 09:47   #11
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you do wonder if a few of them are just to make the stats look good for the next funding review!
I don't think it is as sinister as that. But I suspect IL-UK hit the nail on the head:
Quote:
Its all to do with the age of blame, your damned if you send a lifeboat out and your damned if you do, best to send one out and be damned for doing something then hung for not...
And I completely understand the logic that call them out and stand them down is better than keep them at home and then have them retrieve a body later when the shit really hits the fan. This press release from the MCA over the weekend seems to epitomise the problem - a simple phone call to the sailing club or call on VHF may have prevented calling out about 20 volunteers.
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Old 03 December 2007, 11:21   #12
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The coastguard is responsible for rescues at sea. The same as ambulance services I know i work for one, Fire services, Police at lot ofcallouts are not always an emergency, but they have a duty to respond to such calls. Sometimes a call can start off as minor and in seconds turn to a serious call where death can accure, Im sure your all aware of this, like wise a call may not be as serious as first thought. But as ex lifeboat crew myself, I volunteered for this this and never once regretted going to false alarms or even hoax calls, it was my duty to..

The coastguard have a duty to send lifeboats out, not all sea going craft owners have the knowledge to help, some cant even tie a simple bowline and a tow is a very dangerous procedure if you dont know what your doing or if the line you using to tow breaks, hence why lifeboats always use their own ropes..

anyone can get into trouble at sea even lifeboat crews...

Its all to do with the age of blame, your damned if you send a lifeboat out and your damned if you do, best to send one out and be damned for doing something then hung for not...
Steve, I'm afraid you're wrong on a few points there.

The fire service have no duty to respond to a 999 call. They only have a duty not to make things worse if they do get there. Capital and Counties plc v Hampshire County Council

The coastguard does not have a duty to respond - a parallel was drawn between with the fireservice. Oll v Secretary of State for Transport

The police do not have a duty to respond. Only a duty not to make things worse when they arrive. Alexandrou v Oxford

The ambulance service DO have a duty to respond, although a successful action would require them to be unreasonably delayed (so this case can't be used to question AMPDS prioritisation decision and such like). Kent v Griffiths

As for it being "your duty" to respond on lifeboat shouts... it most certainly was NOT your legal duty. It was (probably) your moral duty.

Regards,
WMM

(Happy to discuss this in lots of detail - I love this subject)
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Old 03 December 2007, 11:52   #13
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No lifeboat has a duty to respond, however people join this service as they want to do it, thus making the crews respond.
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Old 03 December 2007, 13:02   #14
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Lifeboat launches are certainly not initiated due to "paranoia" in MRCCs.

Each incident has a clear protocol to be dealt with. Quite often, lifeboat DLAs (launching authorities) will be advised of a developing incident, which may be quite happily contained at the time, and asked, for example, to place the LB on 10 minute standby to launch. It is not unusual at this point for the DLA to authorise an immediate launch, preferring their "standby" time to be at sea so if things do go wrong, their response is that bit quicker.

No disrespect to the boating public, but it is not unknown for their offer of assistance to, say, tow a vessel, to become undeliverable if they have underestimated the conditions, or overestimated their own capabilities. That is why the "professionals" are tasked early on in the process. One recent tasking was to a fishing vessel towing another, the towing vessel got its own prop fouled, and therefore the incident rapidly developed into something more major.

HMCG's own MOU with the RNLI is based upon "call out, stand down" process, not "leave calling out till last moment".

I for one wouldn't want it any other way.
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Old 03 December 2007, 13:39   #15
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Each incident has a clear protocol to be dealt with.
is that not the problem though... there area set of written protocols which must be followed and probably don't leave room for the officer in the control room to make a judgement call. So in belfast at the weekend (ansd i know of other similar situations) 999 calls reported a capsized sailing dinghy. the fact that capsizing dinghies is a normal part of dinghy sailing is not taken into account nor the fact that the sailing club would have its own rescue cover on site - it is simply treated as a capsize.

I do think the CG would be less incined to launch or initiate a full "rescue" if the person who decided on the call out (whether that is the man in the control room or the committee at HQ who wrote the protocol) also had budget responsibility for the cost of the call out. I am not suggesting that this would be better - but i think it is an indicator that the precautionary principle may be being over used.
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Old 03 December 2007, 15:06   #16
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is that not the problem though... there area set of written protocols which must be followed and probably don't leave room for the officer in the control room to make a judgement call. So in belfast at the weekend (ansd i know of other similar situations) 999 calls reported a capsized sailing dinghy. the fact that capsizing dinghies is a normal part of dinghy sailing is not taken into account nor the fact that the sailing club would have its own rescue cover on site - it is simply treated as a capsize.
I'm sure there is still room for a judgment call by the officer in the control room. In the particular example, the multiple capsizes and the sea conditions at the time would have influenced the decision to launch, together with any other information the 999 callers may have given. Had the conditions been easier, and only one dinghy capsized, the decision taken may well have been different. A 'similar' shout took place back in July:

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-ne...57D&m=7&y=2007

Contacting the yacht club might have been an option, but would have taken time and the club may have been reluctant to admit they needed help (it happens).
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Old 03 December 2007, 15:09   #17
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Originally Posted by whiteminiman View Post
The fire service have no duty to respond to a 999 call. They only have a duty not to make things worse
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteminiman View Post
The police do not have a duty to respond. Only a duty not to make things worse when they arrive.

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The ambulance service DO have a duty to respond
Does this mean I don't have a duty not to make things worse. I hope so otherwise I'm in trouble.
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Old 04 December 2007, 15:39   #18
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Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
is that not the problem though... there area set of written protocols which must be followed and probably don't leave room for the officer in the control room to make a judgement call. So in belfast at the weekend (ansd i know of other similar situations) 999 calls reported a capsized sailing dinghy. the fact that capsizing dinghies is a normal part of dinghy sailing is not taken into account nor the fact that the sailing club would have its own rescue cover on site - it is simply treated as a capsize.

I do think the CG would be less incined to launch or initiate a full "rescue" if the person who decided on the call out (whether that is the man in the control room or the committee at HQ who wrote the protocol) also had budget responsibility for the cost of the call out. I am not suggesting that this would be better - but i think it is an indicator that the precautionary principle may be being over used.
A vast amount of how the incident is handled is strill down to personal judgement calls and experience, overseen by the Watch Manager.

I must admit given the scenario you quote, my reaction would be to hit the LB button first, then follow up with enquiries to the sailing club. Doing it the other way round would add time into the incident if, say, the club response was "er, actuallly the rescue boats stopped running" or similar.

You can always, and often do, recall a LB, CG team or helo. You can't buy extra time if you haven't sent them out first.
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Old 13 December 2007, 18:52   #19
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you can now support Independent Lifeboats in the UK whilst browsing the world wide web.

http://independentlifeboatsuk.easysearch.org.uk/

Use easysearch every time you search online and we'll give 50% of the
fees paid by our advertising sponsors to your chosen cause ie Independent Lifeboats UK.

When you search the web with easysearch you'll generate around a penny for Independent Lifeboats UK with every search you make. It doesn't sound like much, but the pennies soon mount up and you can raise 25.00 a year - or more - just by switching your normal searching to easysearch!

Thank you in advance...
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Old 13 December 2007, 19:36   #20
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Does this mean I don't have a duty not to make things worse. I hope so otherwise I'm in trouble.
Basically yes. You have the duty to act as a reasonably competent paramedic would in the situation you are in. This rule is established in Bolam and modified in Bolitho.

However, what is unique about the ambulance service, is that once they have the correct location data - they are obliged to respond. They can be (and have been) sued, for failing to attend, or failing to attend with sufficient speed.

In my opinion, the ambulance cases are confined to their facts. I do not believe that the judiciary would dare to attempt meddling in the AMPDS system or criticising the resourcing problems that many Ambulance Services are facing.

Regards,
WMM
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