Clyde Coastguard closed “to all intents and purposes” last Friday evening.
After 20:00 GMT, emergency calls were handled from Belfast or Stornoway. Routine calls will now all go to Belfast.
It was originally scheduled to close on 18th December this year but apparently work to transfer certain aspects to Stornoway and Belfast was completed earlier than expected so the decision was taken to close Clyde early and to hell with everyone.
Dennis O’Connor of the campaign said last week: “This effectively means that Clyde will cease to exist operationally from tonight.
“This move by the MCA is a further direct challenge to the Transport Select Committee who recently voiced serious concerns that the closure programme had already begun in September with the closure of Forth Coastguard despite assurances that the replacement system of operation would be fully tested before any closures took place.
“This further development shows that there is an apparent desire by some to rush through the closure plan and we urge Members of Parliament to ask the Secretary of State for Transport to investigate the tactics that are being employed by his departments.”
RANK and file members of West Dorset’s police, fire, ambulance, coastguard and lifeboat emergency services have voted 100 per cent against the closure of the Portland rescue helicopter – predicting that people will die if it is lost.
Campaigners interviewed 58 police officers in West Dorset and all were against the closure.
Ambulance personnel voted 37-0 against the closure, fire service personnel voted 67-0 against, RNLI lifeboatmen 15-0 against and coastguards 20-0 against.
“These officers are the experts in emergencies, they have the experience to know what they are talking about and the Government should heed their informed fears,” said Mr Mac McNamee, spokesperson for the campaign
Mr Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, and Mr Hugo Swire, MP for East Devon, face the prospect of a local backlash at the next election unless the Government’s stand on closing down the rescue helicopter is u-turned. Although both of the Tory MPs have lobbied against the closure, they are tied to their Party line and that could cost them their seats as public opposition to the Government-led closure is swelling by the day.
More than 64,000 Jurassic Coast voters are now petitioning against the closure – around 50 per cent of the region’s electorate.
This compares to just 16 per cent who voted in the recent police commissioner elections.
MP for South Dorset, Tory Richard Drax, has accused his own party of foolishness in closing the Portland search and rescue – predicting that it will leave the Government with blood on its hands.
Also Coastguard campaigners have reacted angrily to confirmation that the closure of Great Yarmouth’s control centre will go ahead in May next year.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has announced that operations at Yarmouth will be taken over from May 1 by the Humber and Thames Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs), which will monitor the coast from Gayton Le Marsh in Lincolnshire to Southwold in Suffolk.
Meanwhile, Thames MRCC, based at Walton-on-the-Naze, in Essex, remains on the list of other stations due to close as part of the Government’s proposed modernisation of the coastguard service.
I sort of apologise for hitting you with Coastguards again, but I do use the sea, as do you all in one form another, unless, of course, you are a Gremlin and mustn’t get wet. I have asked my local MP what his views are on Coastguard station closures but despite the indecent haste by his secretary getting back to me, he hasn’t actually replied.
Honestly people, just look at the big picture, does ANY of it make sense???