Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) has become part of the new Coastguard national network.
Work has been carried out at the search and rescue coordination centre to upgrade the technology and introduce new systems.
This means Stornoway CGOC is now connected to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Hampshire and other Coastguard stations around the country, which will be able to offer mutual support during busy periods.
The changes to Her Majesty’s Coastguard, a service funded and delivered by the UK Government, will see the NMOC and 10 other CGOCs around the UK work together to manage the workload.
There will be no reduction in rescue resources. The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue units will be unaffected.
Angus Maclver, Maritime Operations Controller at Stornoway CGOC, said: “The way we deliver the coordination of search and rescue operations on our coast and out at sea is changing. But the public won’t notice any difference.
“If you call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, or issue a mayday broadcast, we will still be here to help you.
“The new national Coastguard network will be able to oversee and assist with operations around the whole of the UK. Here at Stornoway CGOC we’re now part of this network, so we can call upon help from our fellow Coastguards elsewhere in the country, and also in turn help them out if needed.
“It’s important to remember though that the rescue teams in your community are unaffected. There will still be the same number of lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams, helicopters and other rescue resources.”
The new national network is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2015.
Pictured is Angus MacIver, Maritime Operations Controller, with Carol Campbell. Image courtesy of Maritime and Coastguard Agency.