Posted on: 30 March 2020
As of March 30, there will be some changes for the foreseeable future to the way the BBC will broadcast the UK Marine Weather Service – including the Shipping Forecast – owing to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
During the week, there will be three broadcasts; one at 0533, one at midday and one at 0048. All three will be on FM and LW. At the weekend, it will be 0533, 1800 and 0048, again on FM and LW.
The Met Office will continue to produce Shipping Forecast and Inshore Waters Forecast four times a day and Her Majesty’s Coastguard will be broadcasting as normal via NAVTEX and MF/VHF marine radio.
Strong wind and gale warnings will still be available as and when needed.
Andrew Colenutt, Head of Hydrography and Meteorology at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘These are challenging times and while our primary focus is always safety of life at sea, the spread of COVID-19 and complying with Government guidelines means everyone is having to make some very difficult choices. We completely understand and support the decision of the BBC which faces its own challenges. They are a key partner in bringing this vital information to mariners and are doing all they can to make sure the service continues.
‘We continue to support the maritime industry at this difficult time and have taken all the measures we can to protect crew and the lifelines they are providing to the UK. Mariners should be assured that Maritime Safety Information will continue to be broadcast, still meeting the requirements of the international standard known as SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea).’
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