Over days left to have your say on Coastguard future

With the deadline for submissions to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) consultation about the future of Britain’s Coastguard service fast approaching, the campaigners in Stornoway want to remind the public that this is their last chance to make their views known.

The MCA first announced the consultation into their “Protecting our seas and shores for the 21st Century” document on the 16th December last year. The closing date for submissions was extended by six weeks and is set to close on May 5th.

The MCA’s plan calls for three, of the current five, Scottish rescue centres to be closed with only one of the remaining rescue centres being a 24 hour operation. Both Stornoway and Shetland Coastguard stations have been put against each other and only one will remain open, as a “day station”.

Safety First Spokesman, Martin Collins, said:

“There are only a few days left in which to have your say in the future of the Coastguard and we would urge everyone to take this opportunity to make their voice heard. You can respond by post, online or by email and the forms can be found on the MCA website and we have links to these at www.stornowaycg.co.uk.

“The Safety First campaign has been fighting for both Stornoway and Shetland Coastguards to be retained as 24 hour stations since the very start of this process and we have had overwhelming support from the public and our political representatives.

“Anyone can have a voice in the future of the Coastguard, you don’t have to live near the coast or own a boat. The Coastguard is a national emergency service and is there to serve everyone, so make sure we have a Coastguard service fit for the 21st Century and make you views known.”