In December 2010 the UK Government announced modernisation consultation proposals for HM Coastguard. At that time the intention was to reduce the UK's eighteen Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres to just two centres which would operate 24hrs per day. These centres (MOC's) would be supported by only five sub centres that would only be operational throughout "daylight hours only" (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12007031).
UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC's) are responsible for the coordination of Search and Rescue (SAR) along the UK coastline, as well as providing shipping information and a number of other essential services along the UK coastline.
The proposals were overwhelmingly rejected by EVERY Coastguard station, campaigners and by the Transport Select Committee who conducted a full investigation and concluded that the modernisation proposals were "seriously flawed".
On 14th July 2011, the then Secretary of State for Transport; Rt.Hon Philip Hammond MP announced that the Government had looked at the responses to the original consultation and had examined the evidence. He then announced new consultation proposals which indicated that eleven named Coastguard stations would to be retained on a 24/7 basis but that eight remaining named stations would close. Those stations are:
Brixham, Portland, Swansea, Liverpool, Thames, Yarmouth, Clyde and Forth
The Coastguard SOS campaign group is open to anyone who understands and agrees with our belief that the issue should not be used as a political football. It is supported by concerned members of the public, Coastguard rescue officers (CRO's), serving and former Coastguard officers, Politicians and also by some famous names too.
We are committed to continuing the effort to seek safer modernisation proposals and we will continue to campaign in a reasoned, dignified and balanced way in order to achieve our aim of securing the long term future of every Coastguard MRCC.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE SAVES LIVES
With your help, we may be able to save these Coastguard stations. Please sign the petition, and check the Coastguard SOS website for more ways you can help. You can adopt your local Coastguard station to support, get involved with a local campaign group, share the petition on Twitter, "like" the Facebook group, add an SOS twibbon to your Facebook and Twitter profile, embed the "Save Our Coastguard Stations" image onto your website, take part in a quick poll, download the flyer and email your MP. Don't forget to check the blog for all the latest news and campaign updates, and the links to discussion boards, local campaign web pages and reports.
Please help spread the word as much as you can, and encourage others to sign the petition. Together, we may be able to Save Our Coastguard Stations!