Lifesavers wanted – Sunderland Coastguard calling for recruits

Greg Albrighton, sector manager for HM Coastguard
Greg Albrighton, sector manager for HM Coastguard
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BRAVE Wearsiders are being sought to help keep people safe at sea.

HM Coastguard is looking for volunteers to join the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Service team.

As a front line emergency service coastguard rescue officers respond to coastal emergencies at any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, with the Sunderland team, responsible for the South Tyneside and Sunderland areas.

The area is one of the busiest on the East Coast, averaging around 150 calls each year and team members need to have good local knowledge and be fully trained and equipped to handle a range of incidents and their associated risks, whatever the weather.

Greg Albrighton, HM Coastguard sector manager for the Tyne district, said: “Incidents can include searching for vulnerable missing persons, carrying out cliff and water rescues and responding to small craft in distress.”

Coastguards meet and train at least one evening a week and some weekends and potential recruits must live and work within 15 minutes drive from the Coastguard Station in Charles Street, Monkwearmouth.

They must also get permission from employers to leave work to attend life-saving emergencies.

Greg said: “In return for their commitment, HM Coastguard invests heavily in training and equipping suitable candidates for what is not a job, but a way of life.

“It is a huge commitment for the organisation and the individual, which is both expensive and time consuming, but offers exceptional rewards for the right people.

“It is vital that new recruits can demonstrate they are ready to make a long-term commitment to the role and make sacrifices in their personal lives.”

Coastguard rescue officers can expect to achieve basic competencies such as map reading, communications and search techniques, before progressing to technical qualifications in rope rescue, water rescue and first aid.

Applicants must be 18 years or over, in good health with a reasonable standard of fitness and hold a full driving licence with less than six penalty points.

Greg said: “Prospective volunteers have to show evidence of good team-working attributes, maturity and the ability to work independently when required.

“They must also demonstrate genuine commitment and availability for training and incident attendance.”

Application forms can be obtained by emailing Greg Albrighton at greg.albrighton@mcga.gov.uk.

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