NI coastguard centre could close


Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre could be closed under plans announced by the coalition government.

Either Belfast or Liverpool will have their sub-centre closed.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning has plans for just three full-time coastguard stations in the UK - Aberdeen, Southampton and Dover.

There will also be five sub-centres open during the day - one of which will be in either Belfast or Liverpool.

The Belfast Lough centre is based in Bangor and serves the whole coast of Northern Ireland.

Independent councillor Alan Chambers said there are big safety concerns.

"Can you imagine ringing someone in Liverpool or Glasgow, or wherever it's relocated to, to try to tell them you've spotted a boat that's overturned beside the caravan site in Portrush.

"These people here in Bangor know exactly where local people are talking about - it's going to cost lives in the long run."

So far this year the Bangor centre has been involved in more than 600 rescue operations.

It could be March before a final decision is made over the centre's future.

More Northern Ireland stories


Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence

  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?

  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum

  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views


  • A cargo shipThe Travel Show Watch

    It is not cheap or glamorous - so why are people choosing to travel by cargo ship?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.