Michael Forsyth-Caffrey, Senior Coastal Operations Officer of the Isle of Wight for Her Majesty’s Coastguard, has completed his last day of service as he retires after 29 years.
Mick, as he is known to colleagues, has served in a variety of roles within the Coastguard over the years including Watch Officer and Operations Manager at Clyde Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. Before that he served in the Royal Navy.
For the past 18 years, Mick, who lives in Sandown, has overseen the Island’s 3 Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) at Bembridge, Ventnor and The Needles. For almost 2 decades the largest and most complex Coastguard incidents on and around the Isle of Wight have been led by Forsyth-Caffrey.
Mick’s retirement marks the end of an era as the last full-time Coastguard Officer on the Island – his replacement will be based in Dorset. An official farewell is expected to be held in October.
At Friday night’s Cowes Week fireworks finale, Mick joined his 3 teams for one last patrol. Each team presented him with their own surprise gifts at the end of the night.
Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team have this week also said goodbye to long-serving CRO Carol Doe, who retires after 30 years of service. Carol continues her voluntary work through shoreside safety work with Bembridge RNLI, alongside husband Alan.
Her Majesty’s Coastguard Rescue Service is made up of 352 teams located near the coast in stations around the UK, including Bembridge, Ventnor and The Needles. The teams are made up of Coastguard Rescue Officers (CROs) who are volunteers trained to carry out rope, mud and water rescues and provide assistance to those in distress on the UK’s coastline.