On Wednesday 1 February, UK Coastguard goes ‘live’ with its new telephone numbers for international and long range communications.

They do not replace the standard means of contacting the Coastguard locally under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) but are intended to replace the long range telephone numbers that were previously directed to the Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre.

Ian Guy, duty controller for UK Coastguard said: ‘Long range rescues can be very demanding and complex because they are taking place many many miles from UK shores.  The main contact for long range rescues was previously held at Falmouth, but given the reorganisation of HM Coastguard to a national network, it made perfect sense to relocate the telephone numbers to our National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham.

‘It’s vital that we get the new change of number out to all mariners and seafarers because if they do get into difficulty we want to help them as quickly as possible.  Our priority is to protect life at sea and we will always do everything possible to provide assistance for a mariner or vessel in need.  In the event that we can’t get there ourselves, we will do our best to support the lead agency and identify someone who can help.  We would urge everyone to familiarise themselves with the new numbers and make sure they are on hand in case you need them.’

HM Coastguard has always played a prominent and significant role in long range search and rescue. Before the nationalisation of the UK Coastguard, Falmouth was the centre to contact, their telephone number and email address were widely published and carried by mariners throughout the world.

Following the reorganisation of HM Coastguard to a National Network with its centre at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham this proud tradition continues.

The new numbers follow:

UK Coastguard long range point of contact:              +44 (0)344 382 0025
UK Coastguard medical advice and/or assistance:  +44 (0)344 382 0026
Email contact: ukmrcc@hmcg.gov.uk