To whom it may concern - Introduction
The service (FVCPRS) was approached by various partner agencies with a view to giving a waterbourne presence to accommodate individual requirements.
Being the ABP - Port of Ipswich appointed river patrol, we were requested from the outset to cover all aspects of safety including enforcing the required Exclusion Zone.
As the 'waterbourne resource' for the Suffolk Constabulary since 2000 with direct Police communications we were also to undertake our routine patrols mainly appertaining to 'Project Kraken' and the International Ship & Port Security Code. Providing a safe marine environment and regular security sweeps of sensitive marine infrastuctures, mainly the Orwell Bridge and all adjacent areas surrounding the Marine Torch Procession Route.
We were also approached by the IBC who were initially unaware of our duties of the services we provide, despite over the years we have provided marine safety cover for numerous public events in the Ipswich Wet - Dock. We provided a brief but thorough 'Risk Assessment' which was encompassed in the IBS's 'Torch Relay' - Marine Info' and distributed to all relevant organisations.
Also as a recognised 'additional resource' for HM Coastguard our responsibilites are well defined, however on this occasion we were actually requested by Thames Coastguard MRCC Manager to assume event safety with special attention being given to the procession flotilla crews, possible craft overloading, crew numbers, their wellbeing and all relative safety issues.
Although Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service were afloat in the Wet - Dock, Coastguard had stipulated that we should oversee all incident and communications procedures both in the river and harbour confines.
I am pleased to report that from our perspective the event was highly successful without any major drama considering the large number of leisure craft and people involved afloat.
Our strict safety regime and advice was well accepted by all those concerned on the day.
John Cresswell Master Mariner
Chairman / 1st Coxn