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Watch officers are one step above watch assistants, as they have more maritime experience and are responsible for more hands-on roles. Watch officers are involved in all aspects of the coastguard service, but spend a lot more time on patrol or answering call outs. They are still based within the Maritime and Rescue Co-ordination Centre, helping the watch assistants with calls and organising call outs and rescue missions.
As well as being responsible for the overseeing the communications equipment at the control centre, watch officers help to coordinate the response to any incidents, dealing with watch managers. They also are responsible for advising on matters on maritime safety, and have a more extensive knowledge of the sea and coastal regions and problems. Watch officers support and monitor the use of other third party resources, and have to be good at delegation and team management. Working as part of a team is crucial as a watch officer, as it can make the difference between saving a life, or not.