Changes to Coastguard Operations UKhttp://petitiononline.com/ukcghq
I'm not sure most people are aware of the ongoing MCGA "Consultation" regarding the rationalisation of the UK Coastguard Service. The proposal is to move from 18 MRCCs operating 24hrs to 2 (remote) Marine Operation Centres and 6 daytime Subcentres.
Whilst the authors of the proposals have raised some positive recommendations to improve the current arrangements, the concerns raised by the public range from loss of local knowledge, limited night-time cover, loss of jobs and the complete lack of any risk assessments for an obvious costs-driven proposal.
Under the proposals the local coastguard MRCC at Holyhead will close and be replaced by Belfast or Liverpool in daytime and Aberdeen or Solent at night!
Overseas may not be immune fromm the influence of this reform, as the proposals include the relocation of the international marine rescue coordination role from Falmouth.
I urge everyone to read the proposals at http://www.mcga.gov.uk
, to form their own opinion and respond accordingly.
It is also worth visiting http://petitiononline.com/ukcghq.
Currently this has nearly 12,000 signatures.
Frankly this may not be a "done deal", but it needs the power of public opinion to correct its course, and if we are apathetic then we will have to accept the consequences. The deadline for responding is the closure date of the consultation period of 24th March.
it seems crazy that at the very time the Aquila enquiry is revealing a problem of local knowledge, there are proposals for even fewer centres..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-12577382
The coastguard gave the RAF the wrong location of a capsized Cumbrian scallop dredger, an inquiry has heard.
Three of the crew died and one man survived when the Aquila overturned near Kilmory, in Ardnamurchan.
Flt Lt Michael Rodgers, an RAF air rescue coordination controller, said Clyde coastguard first gave the location as Kilmory, in Argyll.
When the error was realised, a Royal Navy helicopter was stood down and Stornoway coastguard helicopter sent.
Skipper Tony Hayton, 45, died along with Peter Hilton and Thomas Sanderson, both aged 52, in the incident on 20 July 2009.
Tim Rowley, 33, also from Maryport, survived.
A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into their deaths has been hearing evidence at Fort William Sheriff Court.
Flt Lt Rodgers, was on duty at the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre at RAF Kinloss in Moray.
He said that both the Royal Navy helicopter stationed at HMS Gannet, at Prestwick, and Stornoway coastguard helicopter should have been sent to the scene because of the number of casualties.
The officer told the FAI on Thursday: "If Clyde coastguard had told us the first position was wrong and here is the correct one we would have been in a position to advise them.
"There are several Kilmory's on the west coast of Scotland and the Clyde coastguards had misidentified the Kilmory."
The inquiry continues.
(this after a member of the public had actually seen the boat getting into difficulties and had telephoned the coastguard)