Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (662)

Tom Fleming


662. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address the staffing issues at Valentia Coast Guard station, County Kerry, and ensure that the best possible service is available to all concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12823/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Value for Money reviews into the Coast Guard and Marine Surveying functions of my Department identified a number of issues which need to be addressed in Ireland's maritime transport safety and marine emergency response regimes. One of the consultants' recommendations was that the option of a 2 centre model for rescue coordination centres should be pursued.  After careful consideration of the various options available, their practicality and cost, it was concluded that the three centres should remain but that changes to the operation arrangements within and between the centres would be necessarily required. Therefore it was decided that through the utilisation of the most modern communications and IT infrastructure across a single national Coast Guard network, the 3 centres will be more closely aligned and integrated.  My Department is currently finalising an action plan to address the deficiencies in the maritime safety and emergency response services identified in the Value for Money reviews. Increased efficiencies in the operation, watch arrangements and management of the Centres will be a significant part the proposed changes