Renewed appeal to help keep Coastguard

FRESH calls have been made to save Liverpool Coastguard Station following a weekend of call-outs saw local knowledge put into practice.

The station, which covers rescues in the Solway, is one of eight Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) centres which will shut as part of a government reorganisation of the service.

The renewed appeal comes after Liverpool Coastguard responded to 56 incidents in 48 hours over the weekend.

It is thought 20 jobs will go at the Crosby centre as a result of its closure.

Staff at the centre are concerned that if the closure goes ahead, the base for the UK Maritime Operations Centre will be on the Southampton and Portsmouth coastline and that call-outs will be handled from a centralised base in Belfast.

A spokesman for Liverpool Coastguard said: “Without these local professionals there will be coastguards, who may have never been to the North West, trying to provide the same service from Fareham on the south coast.”

A spokesman for the MCA said: “As the shipping minister made clear in November 2011, after many years of uncertainty the plans to create a resilient and fully networked national rescue co-ordination service were confirmed.

“This provides a clear plan for the future of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.”

You can sign the epetition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/4403