Liverpool

Liverpool Coastguard station: Campaign over closure

A campaign has been launched to try to save Liverpool Coastguard station, which is due to close as part of a reorganisation of the service.

Earlier this month, the government announced that eight Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) centres would shut, including the station at Crosby.

Eleven centres would remain open, operating 24 hours a day.

Campaigners want people to sign a petition before the end of the 12-week consultation period.

They have created a website Save Liverpool Coastguard with an online petition. People can also sign a paper copy at the station in Hall Road West, Crosby.

It says: "As the only Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre on the west coast of England, the men and women of Liverpool Coastguard are responsible for keeping you, your family, your sea, and your shoreline safe."

Closure by 2015

Crosby Coastguard watch officer and Liverpool branch chairman of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Brian George, said: "I think there is always something that can be done about it and the campaign will carry on until this particular coastguard station is saved.

"The decision to close Liverpool coastguard station is one that the government has asked for a response to and they have changed their minds before and we hope that they will do so again."

The MCA said most staff support the changes to the service.

Image caption Liverpool Coastguard station is one of eight set to close

Liverpool Coastguard covers waters from the Point of Ayr on the Dee Estuary through Merseyside, Morecambe and South Cumbria, all the way up to the Mull of Galloway.

It also covers some of the Irish Sea, up to the halfway point between the Isle of Man and Ireland.

It is thought 20 jobs will go at the Crosby centre as a result of its closure.

Under the reorganisation, Southampton and Portsmouth coastline will be the base for the Maritime Operations Centre for the UK.

There will also be a disaster recovery back-up facility at Dover, which will also service vessels in the Channel.

Coastguard stations at Falmouth, Holyhead, Milford Haven, Belfast, Aberdeen, Humber, Stornaway and Shetland are due remain open, and a smaller station in London will also be retained.

Other stations to close are in Clyde, Forth, Portland, Yarmouth, Brixham, Thames and Swansea.

The stations listed for closure would shut by 2015.

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