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Crosby Coastguard axed

Government reprieves Belfast and Holyhead despite all the evidence

Written by . Published on July 14th 2011.

Crosby Coastguard axed

CROSBY Coastguard station has been axed by the Government in what has been described by local MPs as “disgusting” and an “appalling decision.”

Ministers sounded the death knell for the station today (Thursday) while announcing that they have instead chosen to retain the Belfast station and reprieve the threatened Holyhead.

The move ignores evidence from a Commons committee that the demise of Crosby would spell the end of valuable local knowledge and endanger lives.

Crosby Coastguard covers an area from Queensferry to the Mull of Galloway, one of the UK's busiest shipping areas.

The two surviving stations will now be responsible for a huge region covering Ireland, the Irish sea, Liverpool Bay and southern Scotland.

Announcing the move in the Commons, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond insisted that the remaining Coastguard network would still be able to deliver a "high level of service”.

(Click here to add text)He added that the Anglesey station was favoured over Liverpool amid concerns raised about Welsh language communication.

The station in Crosby is one of eight Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) centres to shut.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told the House of Commons 11 UK centres would remain and they would all operate 24 hours a day, co-ordinated from a national centre in Southampton.

On Twitter, Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson called the shake-up “disgusting” and added that it ignored “the value of local knowledge, cutting too fast and too far and risking public safety”.

Crosby officers have already warned that the station's loss could add eight minutes response time to an emergency at sea.

Crosby Coastguard watch officer and Liverpool branch chairman of the Public and Commercial Services Union Brian George told reporters: "Liverpool has been targeted for closure in the past and here we are again.

"There is a 12-week consultation period in which we will fight the decision to close Liverpool Coastguard station.

"A lot of people rely on the sea and the coastline for their livelihood and they shouldn't be forced to accept a reduced coastguard service."

Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle, MP for Garston, said: "This is an appalling decision.

"Given the complexities of the waters off Liverpool Bay this means that lives will be lost."

The decision follows a twice-delayed seven-month review. Around 30 jobs will go at the station which will be closed by 2015.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Antony GormlessJuly 14th 2011.

I suppose it will be knocked down, like everything else in this city, to make more flats for footballers and gangster rednecks

AnonymousJuly 14th 2011.

What a fk up

StannerJuly 14th 2011.

I don't know why people are moaning. There is still the lifeboat service at New Brighton and the Liverpool Pilot Service to guide ships in and out.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

Who do you think receives the calls for help (999 and Mayday, etc), then tasks resources such as the lifeboats and then co-ordinates the search and rescue? It's the people based in the operations room at Crosby! The pilot service has nothing to do with HM Coastguard.

Peter RalstonJuly 14th 2011.

as an ex fishing boater for years on the mersey, this is an utter stupid decision and will endanger lives. The mersey is a very tricky river and conditions can and do change in minutes and it was always good to have help on the end of the radio, we always informed the coastguard when and where we were fishing and they kept a benevolent eye on us. Shame on the idiots that have done this

Colin DayJuly 14th 2011.

Remember what happened to Carla Lane's family? A lot of them got killed in a yacht out on the river. The tides and the mudbanks are special in that they are lethal. And what about the Iron Men. They were only kept after a long fight over maritime safety. Will they have to go now?

CocoJuly 15th 2011.

I should hope the iron men go then we can have our lovely Mersey shores back

AnonymousJuly 20th 2011.

I can only hope that one day, these government people are going to need to rely on the coastguard themselves, only to find that when they do shout for help, no one is going to be their. Then we can shout back told you so.

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