Coastguards from across the UK supporting flood response to Storm Babet

Coastguards from across the UK supporting flood response to Storm Babet

As Storm Babet continues to batter parts of the UK, coastguards have been among those at the heart of the multi-agency response.
Four men in high vis and with flood rescue equipment wade through waist high water in residential street as they pass a part submerged car

HM Coastguard and its volunteer coastguard rescue teams, including specialist flood rescue technicians, have been responding to help those caught up in the storm and its aftermath.

As one of the four emergency services, HM Coastguard can support with inland flooding as well as coastal emergencies.

All coastguard rescue officers are trained and equipped in water rescue, which includes first response to flooding. A number of teams are already responding to incidents, with many more on standby across the country to respond either on the coast or inland as required.

Alongside this capability there are specialist coastguards who have expertise in flood response. These coastguards are tasked separately from their local team to provide both regional and national response to flooding emergencies, as they are currently doing now.

Coastguards who have this specialist training are being brought in from across the whole of the UK to support their fellow flood rescue colleagues in Scotland. There are others on standby ready to be called in wherever they are needed to assist as storms continue across Scotland and England.

Currently over 100 of these specialist volunteers are either on standby, on their way to flood-hit areas or already there and working with other emergency services to the worst hit areas. They are coming from as far afield as the south and east coast as well as the north-west of England with support from others in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Coastguard rescue teams have already been working with local authorities, Scotland Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland to evacuate people from their homes. They have been supported by coastguards working in operations rooms and also HM Coastguard helicopter crews.

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes said: “Our thoughts are very much with the families and friends of those who have been lost. It is a reminder of just how powerful these storms can be and the effect it can have on communities.

“HM Coastguard stands ready to respond in all situations. Our coastguards have done just that by showing once again their commitment to go where they are most needed to put into action the training, they have accomplished that will assist those in distress wherever they are.”


Adaptive capability: HM Coastguard's flood rescue skills

HM Coastguard has developed an adaptive capability to respond to severe weather incidents to protect the public and support a wider emergency response. This involves local response supported by teams and resources from across the UK.

Specialists are drawn from across the whole coastguard rescue service meaning that coastal response is unaffected.


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