Carmichael calls for urgent MCA action to solve coastguard crisis

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to the Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Alan Massey, demanding action to deal with the critical staffing situation in Shetland following the resignation of four coastguard officers.

In a letter to Mr Massey, Mr Carmichael says that urgent action is needed before more local people walk away from the organisation and local expertise is lost.

The resignation of four coastguard officers from Lerwick has come on the back of reports that an employee was dismissed on the spot in Sumburgh following a failure to follow a radio procedure. The action has contributed to a further breakdown in trust between the staff and leadership.

Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:

“The Shetland coastguard services appear now to be at breaking point. We now learn that we have had no cliff rescue teams since June. I had hoped after his visit to Shetland in February, and after hearing the concerns of staff directly, that Alan Massey would be more willing to engage with the problems and foresee issues such as this. He now needs to conduct a thorough review of the staffing situation to begin to repair some of the bridges that have been burnt with Shetland coastguard officers and volunteers.”  

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