Coastguard officer launches protest
A disgruntled coastguard officer has launched an online petition in a bid to stop the closure of ten coastguard stations.
The closure plans, announced in December, will see only three of the current 18 stations remaining open with a further five centres opening only during daylight hours, leaving large areas of the UK coastline without a dedicated rescue centre.
Jim Green believes the service cannot be offered without the local knowledge possessed by coastguard officers, which he says ‘forms the very foundations to the work we do on a daily basis’.
He said: ‘Due to the recent announcement from the government of the so called ‘Modernisation of HM Coastguard’, I felt the need to commence this discussion to remind or bring to the attention of senior MCA management, this vital part of our everyday work and to highlight the subject to the public to whom we so proudly provide a value-for-money professional service.
‘Why are we required, as serving coastguard officers, to be examined at least once every two years on local knowledge, if this is, according to senior management, not essential for us to carry out our work?’
Mr Green also queries the search-and-rescue mission coordinator’s ability to prioritise incidents without local knowledge, as there are ‘no dedicated post codes for offshore, inshore, beaches, cliffs or coastal paths.’
The petition can be read and signed by visiting www.petitiononline.com/ukcghq.
Mr Green is also encouraging people to respond to the consultation document that is open until March 24 on the MCA’s website – www.mcga.gov.uk.