Disappointment as plans continue to close the Clyde Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre

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Published Date: 

2 Oct 2012 - 11:19

Continued plans to close the Clyde Maritime Rescue and Co-ordination Centre (MRCC Clyde) at Greenock are being met with disappointment by Argyll and Bute Council. The centre covers an extensive and varied operational area encompassing Argyll and Bute’s coastline from Helensburgh in the south to Ardnamurchan Point in the north including the inner Hebridean islands of Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Mull, Coll and Tiree. Plans are in place to close MRCC Clyde and replace it with the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre in Belfast in 2012/13.

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Development and Infrastructure, John Semple said, “The main issue here is the very real concern that this will mean a reduction in safety for people in the area for many of whom the water is the lifeblood of their community. To replace the fantastic service from the Clyde Maritime Rescue and Co-ordination Centre in Greenock with one in Belfast is just ridiculous.

“This move does not take into account the importance of local operational knowledge and will rely too heavily upon new technology. This could have an effect on the coastguard’s ability to respond to incidents quickly and increase the risk to boats, passengers and crew. Argyll and Bute has a coastline 2323 miles long, this is 12 percent of the entire UK coastline and it is vital we keep MRCC Clyde to provide protection to those in our seas.

“The council has responded in detail to the consultation on ‘Proposals for Modernising the Coastguard 2010’ and a report is expected from the Scottish Affairs Committee hearing very soon.”