Meeting to debate coastguard cuts

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DEEP sea fishermen, chartered skippers and anyone with an interest in the sea is being urged to attend a public meeting over the proposed cuts to the coastguard.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has organised the meeting which is the only one being held between Yorkshire and the Scottish border.

It will be at Bridlington Spa on Monday 21 February from 7pm til 9pm.

The meeting will discuss the Government’s proposals to modernise the Coastguard service by closing ten of the 18 Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) which exist around the UK coast.

Only 2 MRCCs will remain operational 24 hours a day and they will be based in Aberdeen & Southampton.

Five other centres, including the Humber Coastguard will operate during daylight hours only.

Paul Chapman, coastguard watch officer and branch secretary for the PCS Union said: “We, at Humber Coastguard, believe that the modernisation plans are seriously flawed and are concerned for the safety implications to the mariner and coastal user in our area of operation - the River Humber to the Scottish border.

“We believe that taking away the local knowledge built up over years by the coastguard officers at Humber Coastguard could unnecessarily put lives at risk and strongly believe that Humber Coastguard should be retained as a 24 hour station.”

Mr Chapman also encouraged people to sign an on line petition at www.gopetition.com/petition/42196.html