#EssexUnites to highlight the work of partners for Emergency Services Day
This Emergency Services Day we would like to recognise and thank others who work to keep our county safe.
At Essex Police we get to work with some amazing people and teams everyday including other emergency services.
Essex has a huge coastline with more than 400 miles that stretches from Crayford Ness (Near the QEII Bridge) on the River Thames to Manningtree on the River Stour, plus 12 miles out to sea.
The Essex coastline is patrolled and looked after by both the HM Coastguard and the Essex Police Marine Unit.
The HM Coastguard are the leading service on coastal search and rescue, emergency coordination and response services.
They are not a law enforcement agency which is why they work so closely with us and other police services around the UK.
They can be contacted through the emergency 999 number, just ask for the coastguard when prompted.
They should be the first service called for an emergency involving people who get into difficulties in the water or on cliffs along the coastline, medical emergencies on boats or other vessels, missing people at sea or along the coastline, and any collisions that take place at sea.
The Essex Police Marine Unit work closely with the coastguard and our marine communities, they are a Marine based Community Policing Team.
Their role is to help reduce the fear of crime, investigate crimes, and reduce anti- social behaviour around Essex water ways. In an emergency on the coastline of Essex the Marine Unit, and the coastguard work together.
Sergeant Alex Southgate from the Essex Police Marine Unit was asked to recall a memorable incident when he or his team worked closely with the coastguard to help someone. Alex talked about an incident where “two paddle-boarders got into difficulties in the Colne Estuary after the weather had deteriorated quickly. The coastguard had been contacted to help locate the man and woman and get them to safety. “They reached out to us and also the RNLI (The Royal National Lifeboat Institution) volunteers to help them with the search. With all our teams working together we would be able to cover a wider area faster and find them as quickly as possible before the weather got any worse. “After some time, our team located a man and a woman clinging onto their paddleboards in torrential rain and strong tides. They were quickly brought on board our boat to safety, where we then took them to Point Clear Beach. We knew our colleagues from the Coastguard were waiting to provide them with any medical help they needed.”
By working together, the teams were able to find and help those in trouble and made sure they got to safety.
Phil Norman the Coastal Operations Area Commander for HM Coastguard said: “All emergency services work together at speed to keep people safe, including HM Coastguard and Essex Police. “If you get into trouble or spot someone in difficulty at the coast, it’s important to know you can call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in an emergency. “Highly skilled teams in HM Coastguard operations centres log all reports and make sure the emergency response is coordinated – sending our own rescue teams and lifeboats, as well as the police, fire and ambulance services when needed. “The priority is always getting people who need help the right assistance, as quickly as possible.”
The RNLI also play a key role in keeping the people of Essex safe when enjoying the Essex Coast Line.
They are volunteer lifeboat crews that provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland. They also have seasonal lifeguards that look after people on busy beaches.
Emergency service and volunteer rescue teams work around the clock 365 days a year to look after our coastlines and help anyone who has gotten into difficulty in or around the water. The tides around Essex can be turbulent and unpredictable, and when #EssexUnites to come together in all forms of emergency services and volunteers, we can work quickly and efficiently to try and reach people in need.
We want to thank our colleagues in both the HM Coastguard service and the RNLI for all they do to help protect our communities. We are proud to work alongside you.
In an emergency on the water, or on the coastline, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.