A petition with over 15,000 signatures condemning the Coastguard cuts is now in London, a parting gift for the influential Transport Select Committee.
The committee, who were in Stornoway to gather evidence on the reaction to the proposed Coastguard cuts, paid a visit to the Search and Rescue helicopter for a flight round the island before their departure.
A spokesperson for the Safety First campaign commented: “In total, we gathered 15,079 signatures, which represents a high percentage return for such a sparsely populated area as the Stornoway Coastguard district.
“We as a campaign team feel this is a good point to thank the Transport Select Committee for taking the time to visit the Western Isles and listen to our concerns and ideas about the future of H.M Coastguard.
“This is also the right point to draw breath, take stock of our campaign and say thank you to all our many supporters. This has been a difficult time for the Coastguard service, both nationally and locally, but your support has been overwhelming.
“In particular, we would like to thank the following individuals / organisations: MP Angus MacNeil, MSP Alasdair Allan, Western Isles Council and all the organisations represented on the Outer Hebrides Coastguard Task Group, Highland Council, all local and regional media who have publicised and supported our cause throughout, and our colleagues in Shetland Coastguard and their Councils and supporting organisations – we have stood as one throughout and emerged all the stronger for it.
“Last, but by no means least, we thank the public, particularly those who wrote in to the consultation and Transport Committee as either individuals, clubs or organisations, those who took time out of busy schedules to support our public meetings and our march, and those who have advised us on the conduct of our campaign.”