The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible, through the Secretary of State for Transport to Parliament, for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.
|Legal status||Executive agency|
|United Kingdom coast|
|Department for Transport|
Its responsibilities include coordinating search and rescue (SAR) on the coastline and at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG), ensuring that ships meet international and UK safety standards, monitoring and preventing coastal water pollution and testing and issuing Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency (licences) for ships' officers and crew to STCW requirements. The organisation is led by Brian Johnson The MCA is chiefly responsible for the syllabus and national training standards issued by the Merchant Navy Training Board (based at the UK Chamber of Shipping).
The MCA has three distinct "outward facing" elements - provision of search and rescue and prevention activity through Her Majesty's Coastguard, port and flag state control of shipping through a network of Marine Offices and the development of international standards and policy for shipping through the International Maritime Organization.
The MCA has now established an automatic identification system (AIS) network around the UK coast, for real-time tracking and monitoring of shipping movements from the shore.
MCA utilizes airborne assets in the form of helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and drones for SAR, and other, operations and is going to make greater use of these technologies under the UKSAR2G contract to be awarded in 2024.
Its motto is "Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas".