Yachtsmen and townspeople in Weymouth launch campaign to create Portland Coastguard supercentre

Yachtsmen and
townspeople in Weymouth have launched a campaign to create a new supercentre to
replace Portland coastguard station.

Portland is
facing the axe in the Government’s consultation to restructure the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency (MCA).

plans aimed at modernising the service propose closing nine coastguard bases – Portland, Brixham, Solent, Swansea, Liverpool, Clyde,
Forth, Great Yarmouth, and the Thames station in Essex – by the end
of 2015.

A new
Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) would be established in the Southampton or
Portsmouth area to cover the South Coast – but Dorset people believe they can
get the MOC established at Weymouth instead.

The Dorset
Echo is leading a ‘Save our Lifesavers’ campaign and says South Dorset MP
Richard Drax and West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin are backing the call.

‘It’s a good
idea,’ Mr Drax said. ‘We are smack-bang in the middle of the South Coast, the local authority has a possible building in which the centre could be housed,
and it would preserve the professionalism and expertise that we have built up
over the years and generations down here to keep people safe in and out of the water.’

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