As someone who has grown up by the sea and spends many hours during the summer out on the Solent, this is an issue close to me as i’m sure it is many others in the Portsmouth & Southsea area who enjoy the Solent for leisure and recreation.
In December 2010 the UK Government announced modernisation consultation proposals for HM Coastguard. At that time the intention was to reduce the UK’s eighteen Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres to just two centres which would operate 24hrs per day. These centres (MOC’s) would be supported by only five sub centres that would only be operational throughout “daylight hours only”.
UK Coastguard HQ Centres are responsible for the co-ordination of Search and Rescue along the UK coastline, as well as providing shipping information and a number of other essential services along the UK coastline.
Announcing the cuts, Shipping Minister Mike Penning said “Our seas are becoming busier, with larger ships and increasing numbers of offshore renewable energy platforms making key areas of our seas more congested. There are also increasing numbers of people using our beaches, coastlines and seas for leisure activities.”
The proposals were overwhelmingly rejected by EVERY Coastguard station, campaigners and by the Transport Select Committee who conducted a full investigation and concluded that the modernisation proposals were “seriously flawed”.
If you care to sign this petition in favour of keeping our coastline safe then please visit www.petitiononline.com/SHMCGS