About us

What we do

We work to prevent the loss of life on the coast and at sea. We produce legislation and guidance on maritime matters, and provide certification to seafarers.

We provide a 24-hour maritime search and rescue service around the UK coast, and international search and rescue through HM Coastguard.

Who we are

We are a team of 1,050 staff and 3,500 volunteers. Our headquarters are in Southampton and we have offices and co-ordination centres around the UK coast.


We are responsible for:

  • the safety of everybody in a vessel in UK waters
  • the safety of all seafarers on UK flagged vessels
  • making sure all equipment on UK vessels is fit for purpose
  • making sure all seafarers on UK vessels have correct documentation
  • the environmental safety of UK coast and waters
  • the accuracy of hydrographic data on UK charts
  • overseeing coastal rescue volunteers, hydrographics, seafarer certification and the port state control inspection regime


From 2016 to 2017, our priorities will be to:

  • tackle recruitment issues within DMSS while building capability for our future in the international shipping arena through the successful implementation of the Survey and Inspection Transformation Programme
  • we will reinvigorate the UKSR by using our professional knowledge to shape the actions following the recommendations in the Maritime Growth Study
  • we will invest in, consolidate and stabilise the professional Coastguard coordination service, and strengthen the management of our Coastal Operation functions
  • we will use our influence to improve the expertise of volunteer organisations that work on our behalf and do all we can to support the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy
  • use our formal governance structure to support our delivery of efficiencies. This structure will support strategic thinking, research, innovation and underpin the improvements we make to MCA’s capacity to support economic growth and public safety

Corporate information

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Find out about our commitment to publishing in Welsh. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information. Find out About our services.

Corporate reports