Protests fail - nine stations to close

Shipping minister Mike Penning announced on 22 November that proposals for
reorganisation of the Coastguard service have been formally approved by the

The bulk of
the proposals were released in July, after extensive public consultation, with
a few outstanding points held back for further consideration.

This period
saw an outpouring of protest from communities that stood to lose their
facilities. Much of the argument came from the widespread belief that a loss of
local knowledge would lead to the new service proving less effective.

The new
service, however, will be nationally networked. It will hinge upon a Maritime
Operations Centre
(MOC), sited at Fareham in Hampshire, with a standby MOC at

Eight other
centres spread around the UK will link to the national network, all operating
24/7. These will be based at existing Coastguard stations at:


Milford Haven

A small unit
sited in the Port of London Authority operations centre will oversee the

Stations that
are planned to close were predominantly chosen by ‘pairing’ adjacent centres
and retaining the most suitable. These, and the timeframes for their ultimate
closures, are:

Clyde – 2012/13
Forth – 2012/13
Solent – 2013/14
Portland – 2013/14
Yarmouth – 2013/14
Brixham – 2013/14
Liverpool – 2014/15
Thames – 2014/15
Swansea – 2014/15

The volunteer Coastguard Rescue Service remains largely unaffected and will have its regular support officers, who work in coastal communities, increased by 50%.

The full
Department for Transport blueprint document can be read here.

Related stories:

Coastguard closures announced

Portland coastguard petition goes to No 10

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Image: MCA