Fight goes on to save Portland coastguard helicopter base as more than 100,000 sign petition demanding U-turn

Bournemouth Echo: A coastguard helicopter winching a woman to safety A coastguard helicopter winching a woman to safety

A PETITION demanding the government reverses its decision to close Portland coastguard helicopter base has been handed in to parliament.

The document, with more than 100,000 signatures, urges the Department for Transport to abandon plans to close the chopper base in 2017.

The petition read: “Petitioners believe that there may be lives lost as a result of losing this search and rescue facility.”

South Dorset MP Richard Drax, who has been at the forefront in the campaign to save the Portland base, said: “Our fight to retain the helicopter continues.”

Mr Drax believes the planned service to replace the Portland helicopter will “fall short of requirements.”

Speaking after meeting Department for Transport representatives earlier this year, Mr Drax said: “Twenty five per cent of all call outs in the UK happen in our area. All of those must be attended to within what the emergency services call the ‘golden hour’.

“That is the first hour, after which casualties’ chances of survival decrease with time.”

Campaigners are angry at Whitehall plans to deploy helicopters from Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, and Culdrose in Cornwall, to cover emergencies in Dorset and off the Jurassic Coast.

Mr Drax said it could take around 40 to 55 minutes for these aircraft to start up and arrive on scene.

Sea King search and rescue helicopters are provided from eight military bases by the Ministry of Defence. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency operates its helicopters from four civilian bases.

However, the government believes modern helicopters operating from fewer bases will provide a better service.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:20am Sun 9 Feb 14

downmoor-ch63 says...

Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!.
Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!. downmoor-ch63

10:27am Sun 9 Feb 14

Marty Caine UKIP says...

One e-petition started by Richard Drax MP received 17,945 signatures, it is now closed but can still be viewed here:

http://epetitions.di
rect.gov.uk/petition
s/36619

Where is this petition that gained over 100,000 ?
One e-petition started by Richard Drax MP received 17,945 signatures, it is now closed but can still be viewed here: http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/36619 Where is this petition that gained over 100,000 ? Marty Caine UKIP

10:46am Sun 9 Feb 14

Townee says...

We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours.
Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so.
They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.
We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours. Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so. They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away. Townee

11:25am Sun 9 Feb 14

TheDistrict says...

The approximate distance between Lee on Solent Airfield, and RNAS Culdrose Airfield is 220 miles, with Portland 160 miles from Culdrose, and 60 miles from Lee on Solent. In the very inclement weather we have experienced along the south coast during the last month or so, Portland would be a pertanent to the safety of those on the seas, and along our coasts. With added tasks of being deployed in areas such as Somerset. The Government have taken this stance without asking those who use the seas, and those who control the safety. Again they have decided that saving money is far more important than saving lives. What happens if Culdrose Search and Rescue is deployed west, as far as the Irish Sea and Channel Islands, and the Lee SAR is deployed east as far as Kent. Every one in between return to harbour and stay clear of the coastline. Use your commonsense government.
The approximate distance between Lee on Solent Airfield, and RNAS Culdrose Airfield is 220 miles, with Portland 160 miles from Culdrose, and 60 miles from Lee on Solent. In the very inclement weather we have experienced along the south coast during the last month or so, Portland would be a pertanent to the safety of those on the seas, and along our coasts. With added tasks of being deployed in areas such as Somerset. The Government have taken this stance without asking those who use the seas, and those who control the safety. Again they have decided that saving money is far more important than saving lives. What happens if Culdrose Search and Rescue is deployed west, as far as the Irish Sea and Channel Islands, and the Lee SAR is deployed east as far as Kent. Every one in between return to harbour and stay clear of the coastline. Use your commonsense government. TheDistrict

12:42pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Phixer says...

downmoor-ch63 wrote:
Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!.
Is your intellect such that you can only shout to express an opinion - and an opinion which doesn't appear to have any relevance to this matter?
[quote][p][bold]downmoor-ch63[/bold] wrote: Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!.[/p][/quote]Is your intellect such that you can only shout to express an opinion - and an opinion which doesn't appear to have any relevance to this matter? Phixer

12:50pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Phixer says...

Townee wrote:
We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours.
Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so.
They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.
How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI?

Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely.
[quote][p][bold]Townee[/bold] wrote: We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours. Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so. They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.[/p][/quote]How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI? Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely. Phixer

1:15pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Poolesanddune says...

The point that all military Air Sea Rescue bases will not be covering civilian rescues is the reason for the review of the rescue capability. As I understand there will be a change of company supplying the aircraft and the next helicopters flying in the HM Coastguard colours will be larger and faster than the current aircraft. Also I have been told that there will be two aircraft on standby, during the day, at Lee-on Solent and one on 24hr standby. At present there is one at Lee on 24hr standby and one at Portland on day time standby. The new operator (Bristow) will be increasing the training hours, this will mean that aircraft will be more likely to be in the air when needed.
I am all for saving Tax Payers money and closing an expensive hanger that will make very little difference to the coverage of the Rescue Capability
The point that all military Air Sea Rescue bases will not be covering civilian rescues is the reason for the review of the rescue capability. As I understand there will be a change of company supplying the aircraft and the next helicopters flying in the HM Coastguard colours will be larger and faster than the current aircraft. Also I have been told that there will be two aircraft on standby, during the day, at Lee-on Solent and one on 24hr standby. At present there is one at Lee on 24hr standby and one at Portland on day time standby. The new operator (Bristow) will be increasing the training hours, this will mean that aircraft will be more likely to be in the air when needed. I am all for saving Tax Payers money and closing an expensive hanger that will make very little difference to the coverage of the Rescue Capability Poolesanddune

2:04pm Sun 9 Feb 14

GaryC67 says...

Unfortunately our elected politicians rarely appear to want to serve us, the taxpaying public. I'm all for reducing waste, especially when it comes to how our taxes are spent (& the country's deficit is enlarged).
All rescue helicopters should be provided by the state, including air ambulances & coastguard ones, in the same way that fire engines & ambulances are.
As a country we spent a reported £11.2billion on overseas aid in 2013. All of this money was borrowed. We will be borrowing a similar amount this year to cover overseas aid. I'm sure that there is plenty of scope for savings to be made on how this huge amount of money is spent. Just saying lets give 0.7% of GDP away each year isn't sustainable for the UK
Unfortunately our elected politicians rarely appear to want to serve us, the taxpaying public. I'm all for reducing waste, especially when it comes to how our taxes are spent (& the country's deficit is enlarged). All rescue helicopters should be provided by the state, including air ambulances & coastguard ones, in the same way that fire engines & ambulances are. As a country we spent a reported £11.2billion on overseas aid in 2013. All of this money was borrowed. We will be borrowing a similar amount this year to cover overseas aid. I'm sure that there is plenty of scope for savings to be made on how this huge amount of money is spent. Just saying lets give 0.7% of GDP away each year isn't sustainable for the UK GaryC67

2:38pm Sun 9 Feb 14

TheDistrict says...

Phixer wrote:
Townee wrote:
We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours.
Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so.
They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.
How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI?

Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely.
Just hope and pray you do not need it at anytime, at sea, along the coast or inland. It has nothing to do with the capabilities of sailors and anyone else who roams on the seas around our coasts. Its there if and when needed by those who genuinely have a problem at sea, along the coast or inland As I pointed out in my previous comments, the distance between the two planned SAR bases is over 200 miles, but at the same time Culdrose also serves the west coast, Scily Isles, Channel Islands, and beyond depending on the flights endurance. Likewise the Lee aircraft will also be serving the Hants, Sussex and Kent coasts as well as inland on coastal areas and South Downs etc. The less time a helicopter has to travel to a Search scene, the more time it can have on scene to carry out its task.
[quote][p][bold]Phixer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Townee[/bold] wrote: We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours. Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so. They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.[/p][/quote]How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI? Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely.[/p][/quote]Just hope and pray you do not need it at anytime, at sea, along the coast or inland. It has nothing to do with the capabilities of sailors and anyone else who roams on the seas around our coasts. Its there if and when needed by those who genuinely have a problem at sea, along the coast or inland As I pointed out in my previous comments, the distance between the two planned SAR bases is over 200 miles, but at the same time Culdrose also serves the west coast, Scily Isles, Channel Islands, and beyond depending on the flights endurance. Likewise the Lee aircraft will also be serving the Hants, Sussex and Kent coasts as well as inland on coastal areas and South Downs etc. The less time a helicopter has to travel to a Search scene, the more time it can have on scene to carry out its task. TheDistrict

6:03pm Sun 9 Feb 14

SeafaringMan says...

TheDistrict wrote:
Phixer wrote:
Townee wrote:
We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours.
Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so.
They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.
How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI?

Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely.
Just hope and pray you do not need it at anytime, at sea, along the coast or inland. It has nothing to do with the capabilities of sailors and anyone else who roams on the seas around our coasts. Its there if and when needed by those who genuinely have a problem at sea, along the coast or inland As I pointed out in my previous comments, the distance between the two planned SAR bases is over 200 miles, but at the same time Culdrose also serves the west coast, Scily Isles, Channel Islands, and beyond depending on the flights endurance. Likewise the Lee aircraft will also be serving the Hants, Sussex and Kent coasts as well as inland on coastal areas and South Downs etc. The less time a helicopter has to travel to a Search scene, the more time it can have on scene to carry out its task.
I couldn't agree more District. This afternoon Coastguard 106 (Portland) was tasked to assist at Ventnor. Where was Coastguard 104 (Solent)? We need both!
[quote][p][bold]TheDistrict[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phixer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Townee[/bold] wrote: We need this service to be retained at Portland not miles away. Our lives are worth just the same as those who live near the proposed rescue stations, remember the golden hour, it will be in our case remember the bronze 3 hours. Just remember the conservative Thatcher, "the lady is not for turning" and this shower are just the same, my toys and you can have them when I say so. They need to remember it is us the voter who put the. In their cushy jobs and it is us who can take those jobs away.[/p][/quote]How many times in the last 5 years has Portland CG helicopter been of real value in saving life? What were the locations and could they have been saved just as well from Lee or Culdrose? Could those lives been saved just as well by the RNLI? If there really are so many lives dependent on a CG helicopter based in Portland then it doesn't say much for the seamanship of local sailors. Are they willing to pay the additional expenses of a helicopter? How much do they donate to RNLI? Remember it is my money, your money and the taxable pension/savings of the old lady across the road that are expected to pay for this. I/we have a right to ask and determine if it is being spent wisely.[/p][/quote]Just hope and pray you do not need it at anytime, at sea, along the coast or inland. It has nothing to do with the capabilities of sailors and anyone else who roams on the seas around our coasts. Its there if and when needed by those who genuinely have a problem at sea, along the coast or inland As I pointed out in my previous comments, the distance between the two planned SAR bases is over 200 miles, but at the same time Culdrose also serves the west coast, Scily Isles, Channel Islands, and beyond depending on the flights endurance. Likewise the Lee aircraft will also be serving the Hants, Sussex and Kent coasts as well as inland on coastal areas and South Downs etc. The less time a helicopter has to travel to a Search scene, the more time it can have on scene to carry out its task.[/p][/quote]I couldn't agree more District. This afternoon Coastguard 106 (Portland) was tasked to assist at Ventnor. Where was Coastguard 104 (Solent)? We need both! SeafaringMan

6:43pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Redgolfer says...

downmoor-ch63 wrote:
Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!.
Get a life and comment on the story !!!
[quote][p][bold]downmoor-ch63[/bold] wrote: Closing this, and that, putting THOUSANDS out WORK, and now the DISASTERS in the SOUTH and SOUTHWESTAREAS due to FLOODING, it seems to me the only SUCSESSES THE THIS CONSEVATIVE GOVERNMENT HAS been PLEBGATE, AND THAT SHOULDNT HAVE HAPPENNED ANYWAY, but as in many other cases, I have been WRONG, well nobody is perfect are they Lord SMITH!.[/p][/quote]Get a life and comment on the story !!! Redgolfer

5:39am Mon 10 Feb 14

EGHH says...

It won't make a bit of difference. The Govt only think of the money saved not peoples lives.
It won't make a bit of difference. The Govt only think of the money saved not peoples lives. EGHH

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree