Devon

Campaigners against coastguard cuts welcome inquiry

Brixham coastguard station
Image caption Brixham coastguards dealt with 1,300 incidents in 2010 and helped rescue 300 people

Devon campaigners against cuts to the coastguard service have welcomed an inquiry into the proposals.

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee is to conduct a full inquiry into the consultation.

Under moves to cut the UK's stations from 18 to eight, Brixham in Devon will be shut and Falmouth in Cornwall will end 24-hour cover.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) plans to move operations to a new centre in Portsmouth.

It has said modern technology means coastguard stations do not have to be close to rescues any more.

It is believed the move will save about £7.5m a year and see up to 250 job losses nationwide by 2014.

Brixham coastguard watch assistant Les Jenkin, of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: "We are one of the busiest coastguard stations in the UK, wtih hundreds of visitors to the area in the summer.

"I don't believe that one big centre on the south coast will be able to cope with the volume of traffic."

The coastguard station dealt with 1,300 incidents in 2010 and co-ordinated the rescue of 300 people.

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