Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

First published in News

AN official date has been set for the closure of Portland Coastguard.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has confirmed that operations of Portland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) will stop on September 15 this year.

The MRCC- currently based along Weymouth harbour- will be transferred to a new National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham, Hampshire from this date.

In a letter, Keith Oliver, head of Maritime Operations, says: ‘The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT), lifeboats and search and rescue helicopters in your areas will be unaffected.’ The transfer of Portland’s operations will go-ahead one week after the transfer of Solent Coastguard’s operational transfer to the NMOC.’ But campaigners say they strongly disagree with the MCA’s claim that the move will create ‘no difference’ in service.

Currently, Portland Coastguard serves the Dorset and Devon area.

From September, the new NMOC will cover Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Dorset and Devon.

Those opposed to the move say lives will be lost as staff will not have knowledge of the local area and will have a heavier workload.

Roger Macpherson, who fought to save the service, said: “It is ridiculous that there will be one base to cover the entire south coast and the busiest shipping channel in the world.

“People are increasingly staying in the UK for holidays and a seaside town like Weymouth is only going to get more and more popular- meaning we’ll need more and more coastguard support.

“But it does not just affect Weymouth- this will affect every seaside town from Kent to Cornwall.

“The risk is also that all the local expertise of the control room we have now will be lost.

“At the moment, someone with a good local knowledge is able to pin-point very quickly where an area is and the response that’s needed.”

He added: “Lives will be lost, it’s an unfortunate inevitability.

“But the government doesn’t see it that way. It glosses over that and says ‘it will be better, more efficient.’- but how can you say that?

“That is certainly not going to be the case.”

Mr Macpherson said he was also concerned about the morale of staff at the soon-to-be-axed centre.

This issue was raised last year in the House of Commons when Transport Select Committee chairman Louise Ellman grilled former Transport minister Stephen Hammond about the closures including Portland.

She said: “My concern is that by the time the new system is operational, many experienced coastguards will have left, weakening an essential emergency service.”

Comments (13)

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9:04pm Mon 11 Aug 14

DUCKFEEDER says...

This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people
This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people DUCKFEEDER
  • Score: 12

9:13pm Mon 11 Aug 14

billy bumble says...

As far as I am aware the Race is one of the deadliest stretches of water in the UK

Smart thinking Government
As far as I am aware the Race is one of the deadliest stretches of water in the UK Smart thinking Government billy bumble
  • Score: 8

9:39pm Mon 11 Aug 14

EGHH says...

This another stupid decision made by this incompetent government! They scrapped the Nimrod without a replacement so we have no long range maritime rescue aircraft, they are closing the RAF and RN SAR units and have reduced the Coastguard coverage. Have these idiots forgotten we are an island surround by water! I hope furture governments will reverse these decisions!
This another stupid decision made by this incompetent government! They scrapped the Nimrod without a replacement so we have no long range maritime rescue aircraft, they are closing the RAF and RN SAR units and have reduced the Coastguard coverage. Have these idiots forgotten we are an island surround by water! I hope furture governments will reverse these decisions! EGHH
  • Score: 11

10:09pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Nick0070 says...

Another very bad move by this government, lives will be lost but it dos'nt affect them, they have more than enough money each of them and their mates to make they are OK (we are all in it together) Yeh dream on!

Nick Weymouth
Another very bad move by this government, lives will be lost but it dos'nt affect them, they have more than enough money each of them and their mates to make they are OK (we are all in it together) Yeh dream on! Nick Weymouth Nick0070
  • Score: 6

11:43pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Yankee1 says...

There may be trouble ahead...............
...

DaveCam and cronies like horse riding, not sailing. The nearest DaveCam got to water was as a miniscule 13 year old cox in an Eton 8.
There may be trouble ahead............... ... DaveCam and cronies like horse riding, not sailing. The nearest DaveCam got to water was as a miniscule 13 year old cox in an Eton 8. Yankee1
  • Score: 1

11:44pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Yankee1 says...

Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch?
Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch? Yankee1
  • Score: 1

12:18am Tue 12 Aug 14

ShuttleX says...

DUCKFEEDER wrote:
This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people
Of course they can live with it. They are politicians, therefor care about nobody but themselves. If it will save them a fiver, they couldn't care less how many people die.
[quote][p][bold]DUCKFEEDER[/bold] wrote: This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people[/p][/quote]Of course they can live with it. They are politicians, therefor care about nobody but themselves. If it will save them a fiver, they couldn't care less how many people die. ShuttleX
  • Score: 1

12:18am Tue 12 Aug 14

ShuttleX says...

DUCKFEEDER wrote:
This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people
Of course they can live with it. They are politicians, therefor care about nobody but themselves. If it will save them a fiver, they couldn't care less how many people die.
[quote][p][bold]DUCKFEEDER[/bold] wrote: This will costs lives,the committee,who decided on this closure know this, I hope they can live with this decision knowing that have killed people[/p][/quote]Of course they can live with it. They are politicians, therefor care about nobody but themselves. If it will save them a fiver, they couldn't care less how many people die. ShuttleX
  • Score: 2

12:50am Tue 12 Aug 14

Controversial But True says...

This government is a bunch of toffee nosed, half witted, money grabbing idiots with their heads firmly up their own @r$es!!

You're playing with peoples lives, Cameron!
This government is a bunch of toffee nosed, half witted, money grabbing idiots with their heads firmly up their own @r$es!! You're playing with peoples lives, Cameron! Controversial But True
  • Score: 2

5:29am Tue 12 Aug 14

billy bumble says...

Yankee1 wrote:
There may be trouble ahead...............

...

DaveCam and cronies like horse riding, not sailing. The nearest DaveCam got to water was as a miniscule 13 year old cox in an Eton 8.
And now he has grown up he is a massive cox
[quote][p][bold]Yankee1[/bold] wrote: There may be trouble ahead............... ... DaveCam and cronies like horse riding, not sailing. The nearest DaveCam got to water was as a miniscule 13 year old cox in an Eton 8.[/p][/quote]And now he has grown up he is a massive cox billy bumble
  • Score: 0

8:36am Tue 12 Aug 14

adspacebroker says...

Yankee1 wrote:
Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch?
Simply because Portland Coastguard MRCC officially cover the are eastwards to Hengistbury Head. However one thing that the ECHO is not reporting (maybe unaware) is that the current builidng in Weymouth that the Coastguard occupy has to be returned to its historic state at a cost to the tax payer of £1.9 million. Also they cannot currently staff the NMOC fully and are offering Coastguard Watch Officers a financial incentive to move and are recruiting people off the streets to fill the gaps! Why not put our eggs all in one basket and then drop the basket and be left with death and debris.
[quote][p][bold]Yankee1[/bold] wrote: Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch?[/p][/quote]Simply because Portland Coastguard MRCC officially cover the are eastwards to Hengistbury Head. However one thing that the ECHO is not reporting (maybe unaware) is that the current builidng in Weymouth that the Coastguard occupy has to be returned to its historic state at a cost to the tax payer of £1.9 million. Also they cannot currently staff the NMOC fully and are offering Coastguard Watch Officers a financial incentive to move and are recruiting people off the streets to fill the gaps! Why not put our eggs all in one basket and then drop the basket and be left with death and debris. adspacebroker
  • Score: 4

10:39pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Yankee1 says...

adspacebroker wrote:
Yankee1 wrote:
Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch?
Simply because Portland Coastguard MRCC officially cover the are eastwards to Hengistbury Head. However one thing that the ECHO is not reporting (maybe unaware) is that the current builidng in Weymouth that the Coastguard occupy has to be returned to its historic state at a cost to the tax payer of £1.9 million. Also they cannot currently staff the NMOC fully and are offering Coastguard Watch Officers a financial incentive to move and are recruiting people off the streets to fill the gaps! Why not put our eggs all in one basket and then drop the basket and be left with death and debris.
Thank you for that.

But surely the next relevant CG station is at Swanage, and not Christchurch?
[quote][p][bold]adspacebroker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Yankee1[/bold] wrote: Why is a story about Portland listed under Christchurch?[/p][/quote]Simply because Portland Coastguard MRCC officially cover the are eastwards to Hengistbury Head. However one thing that the ECHO is not reporting (maybe unaware) is that the current builidng in Weymouth that the Coastguard occupy has to be returned to its historic state at a cost to the tax payer of £1.9 million. Also they cannot currently staff the NMOC fully and are offering Coastguard Watch Officers a financial incentive to move and are recruiting people off the streets to fill the gaps! Why not put our eggs all in one basket and then drop the basket and be left with death and debris.[/p][/quote]Thank you for that. But surely the next relevant CG station is at Swanage, and not Christchurch? Yankee1
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Tue 2 Sep 14

nickster says...

billy bumble wrote:
As far as I am aware the Race is one of the deadliest stretches of water in the UK

Smart thinking Government
Luckily for us in Mudeford we have a fantastic RNLI team, volunteers have a massive amount of local knowledge.

And to be fair, they seem to cover more shouts than the Coastguard from what I've seen.

Keep up the donations!
[quote][p][bold]billy bumble[/bold] wrote: As far as I am aware the Race is one of the deadliest stretches of water in the UK Smart thinking Government[/p][/quote]Luckily for us in Mudeford we have a fantastic RNLI team, volunteers have a massive amount of local knowledge. And to be fair, they seem to cover more shouts than the Coastguard from what I've seen. Keep up the donations! nickster
  • Score: 1

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