The new National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) will operate from next autumn

The timetable for completing the controversial modernisation of Her Majesty’s Coastguard has been announced.

The new national network is scheduled to be in place by the end of 2015, with the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) operating from autumn 2014.

The introduction of the national network aims to enable the NMOC and all the other 10 Coastguard Operation Centres (CGOC) to offer national support to any search and rescue incident, even though the coordination will still be managed by the relevant CGOC.

The modernisation programme involves the closure of eight coastguard stations, including Brixham, Clyde, Forth, Great Yarmouth, Liverpool, Portland, Swansea, Thames.

Yet the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) there will be no reduction in rescue resources and the availability of Coastguard
Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue assets ‘will
be unaffected’.

Sir Alan Massey, chief executive of the MCA said: ‘This is an exciting time.

‘We are moving into a new era for HM Coastguard that will reinforce the ability of our staff to ensure the safety of seafarers and the public.

‘We want to continue being a world-class organisation that is committed to preventing loss of life, improving maritime safety, and protecting the marine environment.

‘At the same time, our Coastguards can look forward to more satisfying and better rewarded careers.

‘We realise that this whole change programme will be tough for some of
our people, particularly those who feel that they have no future with HM

‘We recognise that, and will do our very best to work with every individual to ensure they are properly equipped and supported in
making the best decision for them.’

The plan to reform HM Coastguard was first announced in November 2011 by the then Shipping Minister, Mike Penning MP.