an executive agency of the UK's Department for Transport with overall responsibility for Britain's 16,800 kilometres (10,500 mls.) of coastline. It is the UK authority responsible for responding to pollution from shipping and offshore oil and gas installations, and its Counter Pollution & Salvage Branch, with HM Coastguard, responds to any emergency which may arise within the UK's search and rescue (SAR) area. SAR is coordinated through its network of six Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres, and its twelve Maritime Rescue sub-centres and sector bases, and civilian helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are stationed around the UK for lifesaving and anti-pollution measures.
It is also responsible for checking that ships entering UK waters meet UK and International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations; it monitors the policy on, and consistency of, port state control inspections and the inspections of UK vessels; and is the authority for the training and certification of UK seafarers. The Receiver of Wreck is also part of its organization.
Subjects: Maritime History.