Isle of Man to step up coastguard responsibility

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The Isle of Man coastguard is to take on more responsibility when Liverpool coastguard station shuts in 2015.

The station in Crosby is one of eight Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) centres to be closed as part of a UK government reorganisation.

Currently, the island takes responsibility for 80% of operations but aims to cover 95% by 2015.

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

Out of the whole of the UK coastguard organisation there is expected to be a job reduction of about 150 posts.

"We would only need support for the bigger and more complex incidents," harbour director Mike Brew, said.

"The changes will not cost us anymore money because we have already invested in the necessary infrastructure.

"We have staff numbers which haven't changed over the years despite many extra roles and responsibilities which we have taken on".

'UK contact'

Liverpool Coastguard currently 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.

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

"We still need a point of contact in the UK, we were content with Liverpool because we had a long working relationship with them but equally we could develop professional working relationship with any of the stations" continued Mr Brew.

"There are two possibilities, Belfast and Holyhead, so in the not too distant future we will be sorting out the details".

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