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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency employs a 24-hour watch-keeping team to monitor and control the UK’s sea and coastal areas. This team is made up of watch assistants and watch officers. Watch assistants oversee the entire search and rescue operation; taking radio calls, 999 calls, collecting information, contacting the rescue teams and providing assistance where needed. Essentially, they are the initial source of information for all types of maritime operations. Other important duties include monitoring the communication equipment, updating logs and reports with tide and weather information, and reporting any illegal activity such as smuggling to the authorities.
Being a watch assistant requires great organisation and administrative skills, as they help to keep the sea and coastal areas safe and clean. No two days are the same and, whilst this position is office based, watch assistants are in contact with lifeboats, other emergency services and ship captains. This position is suitable for someone with an interest in the protection of sea and coastal areas, and the ability to take control of sometimes difficult situations.