First of nine stations to close

Today at 1.30pm Forth Coastguard will broadcast its final weather forecast and then become the first station to close as part of the government’s spending cuts.

The closure of the station on Fife Ness headland (pictured) will be marked by a special thank you to those listening on VHF Channel 16.

It is the first closure of a planned nine that will see half of Britain’s coastguard stations disappear and coastguard staff cut from 473 to 314. 12 of Forth’s 14 staff will either take redundancy or retire.

Aberdeen Coastguard will become responsible for distress calls in the area as far south as Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Clyde will be the next station to close with half of its 28 staff expected to be out of work by Christmas. Great Yarmouth will be next to follow in 2013.

In the future all operations will be controlled from a new national centre in Fareham, Hampshire, which is due to open in 2014.

Coastguard modernisation goes ahead.

Coastguard closures announced.

Ten coastguard stations to close.