Maritime Operations Officer

Occupation overview

Maritime Operations Officers (MOO) work for Her Majesty’s Coastguard, a section of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport. 

HM Coastguard is responsible for initiating and coordinating maritime Search and Rescue in the UK, as well as fulfilling other functions such as Pollution Response, Vessel Traffic Management, Maritime Safety, Maritime Security and Emergency and Disaster Management. A MOO works in an operations room, and is responsible for carrying out activities required to effectively respond to maritime emergencies as well as a range of activities relating to the functions above.

A MOO will handle emergency and routine calls, gather and analyse information in order to respond to incidents and emergencies, and provide the mariner, coastal user and partner organisations with maritime safety information. A MOO will work as part of a team, overseen by a Senior Maritime Operations Officer. They will achieve this by ensuring that all equipment in support of Coastguard services is fully maintained and functioning correctly, assess requests for air support and make recommendations to senior officers with regard to other appropriate resources to despatch to incidents. They will monitor alerts related to Maritime Security, assessing and passing information to the most appropriate authority and take responsibility for Data and Information Management, maintaining accurate, up to date resource information and databases.


  • Apply navigational and plotting skills in the use of maps and charts.
  • Categorise, respond to and co-ordinate Coastguard operations.
  • Gather and analyse information to inform operational plans, execute missions and brief senior officers.
  • Send rescue resources (such as lifeboats, air assets and Coastguard Rescue Teams) to incidents and manage their on-scene activity.
  • Work with other declared resources and partner organisations (both during and outside of incidents) to give advice and updates.
  • Make (and record) effective decisions during incident working, using Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Predict the likely movement of various types of objects drifting at sea by employing established methods and techniques for the calculation of search areas.
  • Plan searches on the shore and land for any target using established procedures.
  • Effectively allocate suitable resources and prioritise search effort.
  • Plan and coordinate an effective maritime search, using available tools, resources and analysis of the conditions for search activity.
  • Access and interpret weather, tide and other current environmental factors in order to assess the likely impact on operations.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient use of operational communications including the full range of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), radio and other related equipment and systems found within a Coastguard Operations Centre and maintenance of this equipment.


  • MCA’s Organisation, mandate and position in the context of government.
  • The emergency planning process, including Major Incident Plans, the National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution and relevant business continuity plans.
  • Nautical knowledge in relation to collision regulations, buoyage, pilotage, navigation, stability and communications in order to assess the context and likely impact on operations.
  • MCA’s responsibilities with regard to Counter Pollution, Salvage, Wreck and Coastal Protection.
  • MCA’s obligations (and a MOO’s responsibilities) for monitoring vessel traffic. 


  • Lead by example in promoting safe working practices that protect our people, our assets and all those at work or leisure in the maritime environment.
  • Embed safety awareness in their own culture and through partnership working, education and regulation.
  • Put forward their own views in a clear and constructive manner, choosing the most appropriate communication method
  • Act in a fair and respectful way in dealing with others • Be able to learn from mistakes Delivering at Pace
  • Work in an organised manner using own knowledge and expertise to deliver on time and to standard, working with energy and pace to get the job done.
  • Take responsibility for the quality of own work, remain focused on delivery and maintain consistent performance.
  • Investigate and respond to gaps, errors and irregularities in information.
  • Speak up to clarify decisions and query these constructively.
  • Behave in an honest, considered and consultative manner and can be relied on to honour and deliver MCA’s commitments.
  • Treat everyone fairly and with dignity, encouraging and valuing everyone’s contribution. Not tolerate bullying and harassment.

Entry Requirements 

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.


Minimum of 12 months


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


Recruiting school leavers? We can help