Suspension of all MVS Activities during Coronavirus Crisis


Last week we announced measures to protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19) that were appropriate during the Containment phase of the response to the disease.

As you will be aware the government has now moved to Delay phase.
You may have heard the PM spell out what this is likely to mean for society.
He said that many families would lose loved ones before their time.
That underlined the brutal reality that faces us now.

You will also realise that the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions are the most vulnerable to the severe form of the disease.
Much of the MVS membership falls into those categories.

The priority must be to avoid anything that puts our members at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than if they followed official advice to keep social interaction local and to a minimum.
This is not only to protect our members and to stop unnecessary spread of the virus but also avoid the additional strain elderly COVID-19 patients will put on the on the NHS.

In view of the above all MVS meetings and activities are to be cancelled until further notice.
As much as it goes against the grain for a Service dedicated to helping others, this also means that, with immediate effect, the MVS will withdraw from all Resilience commitments for the time being.
Subject to risk assessments, HoUs can task individual members to carry out care and maintenance of vessels and equipment.

More detailed advice will be circulated over the next few days.
Any queries should be directed through RVOs.

Some members may consider the above to be an overreaction.
Well, we are facing something completely unprecedented within our life time.
As a society and as the MVS we will have to take measures that would in other circumstances seem extreme and unnecessary.

The MVS has a duty of care to its members and a responsibility to society not to do anything that could exacerbate the spread of this virus.
In my judgement, to allow normal activities to continue would be unforgivably irresponsible.

This move is not made lightly.
It will be kept under constant review.

David Hughes
Maritime Volunteer Service