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Portland Coastguard Move Confirmed

Whiskey Bravo Coastguard helicopter Portland

8:45am 12th August 2014

A date has been set for the move of Portland Coastguard.

The maritime and coastguard agency have confirmed the responsibilities will move to Fareham from 15th September onwards, but a complete closure is yet to be confirmed.

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, has been campaigning for the station on Weymouth Harbour to remain. He said: "Regrettably, there is a severe risk that lives could be lost. The men and women who have manned our coordination centre are of the highest calibre and we are all indebted to them for their dedication and service. They are local people who contribute enormously to the safety of all those who use our waters and our hills and their local knowledge will be missed enormously.

"A new centre, however modern it is, with all the sophisticated kit no doubt it will have, and no doubt the highly trained personnel in it; what they won't have are those who live every day in their local community, who wake up and immediately assess the environment around them because they live there. The importance of that is because when the bell goes these men and women know which asset to task for a particular job.

"It may be that a helicopter is more appropriate than a lifeboat on one occasion and vice versa on another. I do not believe this very detailed, intimate knowledge will be held certainly in the short-term, by those at the new centre and that's where time will be lost to launch whichever rescue vessel they finally decide to launch."

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