Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I've just sent a mass email to 72 friends and family members. It's something I almost never do, but this is a subject I feel strongly about.
Under the current round of cuts, a number of UK Coastguard stations are due to be closed. They include Thames (at Walton-on-the Naze) and Great Yarmouth. The whole East coast sailing area will be covered by Dover and Humber, with more than 300 miles of coast between them. After closures complete in 2014 there will no longer be any coastguard stations with local knowledge of the Thames estuary and East coast rivers. Many other coastguard stations will be affected; you can see the full list in the BBC news story.
The UK coastguard currently offers a fantastic emergency and support service to everyone in UK waters. Local knowledge undoubtedly saves lives. It is true that the coastguard service was due for some kind of restructure, but not the total devastation which these cuts will bring.
Please consider signing the petition at www.petitiononline.com/SHMCGS/petition.html if you haven't done so already, and doing anything else which you feel may make a difference.