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Despite being set to take delivery of a new fleet of motor launch boats in the near future, the maritime division of the Guardia Civil across Valencia are unable to effectively staff their current flotilla, according to the Asociación Unificada de Guardias Civiles.

The AUGC have reported “serious problems” and deficiencies which, in their view, undermine the service and jeopardises the integrity of the crews. They claim that not only are most of the craft based in Valencia and Alicante “shabby”, these “deficiencies” are “aggravated” by the “lack of staffing in the entire institution, by not replacing vacancies” caused by early retirement.

In particular, in the maritime service based at Alicante, this shortage makes it impossible for two daily patrol boats to be launched, as would be the requirement, leaving most of the coastline unprotected, a similar, although lesser situation occurs off the coast of Valencia and Castellon.

The AUGC is advocating a 24-hour shift pattern that would cover the entire boundary, give more rest to the craft and economically would be cheaper for fuel, as a lot of the coastline deficiencies are currently being patrolled from the land. Their proposals would also vary routine schedule and not always relieve the crews on the same port.

They also complain of the quality standard of some of the craft, which would hopefully be resolved when they take delivery of the new vessels, but they call for an urgent address of problems caused by lack of awareness and training of their ground based colleagues, many of whom assume the boats to be “similar to a car”, in that they can go anywhere at any time. The AUGC has already filed reports complaining of being put under pressure to set sail in stormy seas, which they claimed shows a lack of knowledge and experience of some of their superiors, which can “endanger the integrity of the components of the boats”, and put the officers who operate the craft “at serious risk”.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42235/

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