Stop Government plans to downgrade Aberdeen Coastguard sign now

n December 2010 the UK Government and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency published plans for the Modernisation of the Coastguard Service.

Those plans included the creation of two Marine Operations Centres one of which was planned for the existing Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Aberdeen. This centre would have 64 staff and would be part of the proposed national network.

On the 14th of July 2011 in the House of Commons the Secretary of State for Transport Phil Hammond MP announced the amended plans for the modernisation of the Coastguard. In this announcement the plans for the Northern Marine Operations Centre in Aberdeen were shelved and instead of being upgraded to Marine Operations Centre status with an increase of staffing, the Government announced that the station is to be downgraded to a sub centre with the loss of staff.

MRCC Aberdeen is currently staffed by 31 staff, all of which are highly trained and experienced in maritime search and rescue. MRCC Aberdeen is also responsible for SAR in the North Sea where thousands of fisherman and offshore oil industry workers make their living. Under the government plans to downgrade Aberdeen Coastguard the unique and valuable experience that the staff have in the offshore and fishing industries will be lost forever. This cannot be allowed to happen and with other coastguard stations being earmarked for closure the number of highly experienced SAR professionals in the UK will fall dramatically. Inexperience can cause mistakes. Mistakes can cost lives.

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aberdeen coastguard, hm coastguard, mca, modernisation, sar

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