Yarmouth coastguard station is axedThursday 14th July 2011
The campaign to retain Great Yarmouth’s coastguard station has failed with the Government revealing its revised plans today.
Philip Hammond, secretary of state for transport, announced the decision to axe Yarmouth, along with Swansea, Portland in Devon, Clyde and Forth in Scotland, Liverpool, Brixham in Devon, and Walton on the Naze in Essex.
The new nationally co-ordinated service will comprise:
> one Maritime Operations Centre in the Southampton/Portsmouth area with a back-up facility at the existing Dover site which will be retained as a 24 hour centre; and
> eight sub-centres, all operated on a 24-hour basis, located at Falmouth, Milford Haven, Holyhead, Belfast, Stornoway, Shetland, Aberdeen and Humber. The small station at London is also retained.
East of England Euro MP Richard Howitt said the decision, to axe Yarmouth’s base would result in a loss of local knowledge and the government would have lost lives on their conscience.
He said the decision was a bitter blow to local campaigners who took part in the consultation in good faith, and who had seen every one of its arguments rejected.
“Our campaign was top notch and I can’t fathom why other coastguards have been thrown a lifeline but Yarmouth will shut,” he said.
“In my meetings with coastguards I was convinced that their local knowledge helped save lives. If your boat runs aground on rocks, you slip down a cliff or swept out to sea, you want to know local help is at hand.
“With the summer holidays just around the corner and families going for seaside holidays it is outrageous that some cover for our beaches will be provided by coastguards based in Southampton.”
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