Wednesday, 2 November 2011

HM Coastguard Control Centres - News from Liverpool and the Isle of Man

Fight for Liverpool 999 coast service

Published on Tuesday 1 November 2011 11:45

FIVE THOUSAND people from the Isle of Man have signed a petition to help save Liverpool Coastguard station.

Last week UK MP Bill Esterson submitted a 51,000 signature petition to the UK’s Parliament on behalf of the Save Liverpool Coastguard Campaign.

Three thousand signatures were collected by the Steam Packet, other signatures came from the yacht clubs in Douglas, Ramsey, Peel and Castletown.

The Isle of Man may be forced to look at providing all of its sea search and rescue mangement and co-ordination on its own, should plans to cut back most of the UK’s coastguard stations come to fruition.

At present, Liverpool Coastguard provides the service for the island, under a memorandum of understanding with the UK.

But a consultation document issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has detailed plans to reduce the number of Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres across the UK from 18 full-time stations to just two main centres open 24-hours-a-day and a further five sub-centres, most of which will be open during daylight hours only.

This plan would also call for nearly a 50 per cent reduction in full-time Coastguard staff within four years.

All of this would directly affect the island’s agreement with Liverpool.

Director of harbours Captain Mike Brew has moved to allay any fears in the Isle of Man, saying the island had for some time been responsible for its own maritime rescues and that there had been extensive planning to prepare for the closures.

The staff and supporters of Liverpool Coastguard thanked everyone who has supported and continues to support the campaign. They vow to continue the fight.

Have their colleagues and our elected representatives in Northern Ireland continued to support Liverpool and other centres threatened with closure and/or a significant reduction in manpower and other resources?