UPDATE: Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

Official end date of Portland Coastguard announced

First published in News
Last updated

AN official date has been set for the closure of Portland Coastguard.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has confirmed that operations of Portland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) will stop on September 15 this year.

The MRCC- currently based along Weymouth harbour- will be transferred to a new National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Fareham, Hampshire from this date.

In a letter, Keith Oliver, head of Maritime Operations, says: ‘The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT), lifeboats and search and rescue helicopters in your areas will be unaffected.’ The transfer of Portland’s operations will go-ahead one week after the transfer of Solent Coastguard’s operational transfer to the NMOC.

But campaigners say they strongly disagree with the MCA’s claim that the move will create ‘no difference’ in service.

Currently, Portland Coastguard serves the Dorset and Devon area.

From September, the new NMOC will cover Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Dorset and Devon.

Those opposed to the move say lives will be lost as staff will not have knowledge of the local area and will have a heavier workload.

Roger Macpherson, who fought to save the service, said: “It is ridiculous that there will be one base to cover the entire south coast and the busiest shipping channel in the world.

“People are increasingly staying in the UK for holidays and a seaside town like Weymouth is only going to get more and more popular- meaning we’ll need more and more coastguard support.

“But it does not just affect Weymouth- this will affect every seaside town from Kent to Cornwall.

“The risk is also that all the local expertise of the control room we have now will be lost.

“At the moment, someone with a good local knowledge is able to pin-point very quickly where an area is and the response that’s needed.”

He added: “Lives will be lost, it’s an unfortunate inevitability.

“But the government doesn’t see it that way. It glosses over that and says ‘it will be better, more efficient.’- but how can you say that?

“That is certainly not going to be the case.”

Mr Macpherson said he was also concerned about the morale of staff at the soon-to-be-axed centre.

This issue was raised last year in the House of Commons when Transport Select Committee chairman Louise Ellman grilled former Tansport minister Stephen Hammond about the closures including Portland.

She said: “My concern is that by the time the new system is operational, many experienced coastguards will have left, weakening an essential emergency service.”

Comments (24)

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2:53pm Mon 11 Aug 14

linspring says...

IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.
IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters. linspring
  • Score: 24

3:00pm Mon 11 Aug 14

marabout says...

linspring wrote:
IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.
Why?

All they should do is telephone 999 and ask for the Coastguard.



In a letter, Keith Oliver, head of Maritime Operations, says: ‘The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT), lifeboats and search and rescue helicopters in your areas will be unaffected.’
[quote][p][bold]linspring[/bold] wrote: IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.[/p][/quote]Why? All they should do is telephone 999 and ask for the Coastguard. In a letter, Keith Oliver, head of Maritime Operations, says: ‘The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT), lifeboats and search and rescue helicopters in your areas will be unaffected.’ marabout
  • Score: -19

3:11pm Mon 11 Aug 14

dadza says...

linspring wrote:
IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.
The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch.
[quote][p][bold]linspring[/bold] wrote: IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.[/p][/quote]The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch. dadza
  • Score: -13

3:32pm Mon 11 Aug 14

marabout says...

dadza wrote:
linspring wrote:
IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.
The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch.
Exactly - So it doesn't really matter who answers the phone.
[quote][p][bold]dadza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]linspring[/bold] wrote: IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.[/p][/quote]The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch.[/p][/quote]Exactly - So it doesn't really matter who answers the phone. marabout
  • Score: -6

3:58pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Fred Kite says...

Nice one Drax you failure!
Nice one Drax you failure! Fred Kite
  • Score: -4

4:06pm Mon 11 Aug 14

wykie says...

Idiots
Idiots wykie
  • Score: 8

4:56pm Mon 11 Aug 14

southwellman says...

Fred Kite wrote:
Nice one Drax you failure!
How can this be Drax fault? this decision was made way about his pay grade. And he fought tooth and nail to keep it.
Also the people who are moaning it will affect the service.. How will it? The operation center will phone the coast guard and tell them for instance there is a man at the bottom of Godnor.. The local coast guards will still know where to go so I cannot see how that can be a point of moaning.. and what is with the down arrows when people are writing factual thing.. or is it just the arm chair warriors with nothing else to do?
[quote][p][bold]Fred Kite[/bold] wrote: Nice one Drax you failure![/p][/quote]How can this be Drax fault? this decision was made way about his pay grade. And he fought tooth and nail to keep it. Also the people who are moaning it will affect the service.. How will it? The operation center will phone the coast guard and tell them for instance there is a man at the bottom of Godnor.. The local coast guards will still know where to go so I cannot see how that can be a point of moaning.. and what is with the down arrows when people are writing factual thing.. or is it just the arm chair warriors with nothing else to do? southwellman
  • Score: 15

4:59pm Mon 11 Aug 14

dave.flowers says...

Fareham. Hants, isn't it a land locked town.?
Fareham. Hants, isn't it a land locked town.? dave.flowers
  • Score: 2

5:42pm Mon 11 Aug 14

scubadude says...

marabout wrote:
dadza wrote:
linspring wrote:
IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.
The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch.
Exactly - So it doesn't really matter who answers the phone.
It matters very much who answers the phone- have you ever dialled 999? Trying to describe where something is to someone who doesn't even know where Dorset is is difficult- now try describing a small spot along the coast, everywhere is something-bay, this or that-beach, its a cluster-F*ck and fatalities will rise.
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dadza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]linspring[/bold] wrote: IDIOTS! God help anyone who now gets into difficulty in our waters.[/p][/quote]The only difference is that the phone will not be answered in Weymouth and will instead be answered in Hampshire. Everything else stays the same, land based coastguards, lifeboat in Weymouth harbour, the helicopter on Portland (for now),and the volunteers at Coastwatch Portland Bill will continue to provide the coastguardwith a visual watch.[/p][/quote]Exactly - So it doesn't really matter who answers the phone.[/p][/quote]It matters very much who answers the phone- have you ever dialled 999? Trying to describe where something is to someone who doesn't even know where Dorset is is difficult- now try describing a small spot along the coast, everywhere is something-bay, this or that-beach, its a cluster-F*ck and fatalities will rise. scubadude
  • Score: 18

5:43pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Blacklisted says...

southwellman wrote:
Fred Kite wrote:
Nice one Drax you failure!
How can this be Drax fault? this decision was made way about his pay grade. And he fought tooth and nail to keep it.
Also the people who are moaning it will affect the service.. How will it? The operation center will phone the coast guard and tell them for instance there is a man at the bottom of Godnor.. The local coast guards will still know where to go so I cannot see how that can be a point of moaning.. and what is with the down arrows when people are writing factual thing.. or is it just the arm chair warriors with nothing else to do?
Drax has voted for all the CUTS, the only time i have ever seen Drax in Weymouth Town Centre is when he was canvassing in 2010, out of touch and out of sight, unless there is a photo opportunity in it for him.....
[quote][p][bold]southwellman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fred Kite[/bold] wrote: Nice one Drax you failure![/p][/quote]How can this be Drax fault? this decision was made way about his pay grade. And he fought tooth and nail to keep it. Also the people who are moaning it will affect the service.. How will it? The operation center will phone the coast guard and tell them for instance there is a man at the bottom of Godnor.. The local coast guards will still know where to go so I cannot see how that can be a point of moaning.. and what is with the down arrows when people are writing factual thing.. or is it just the arm chair warriors with nothing else to do?[/p][/quote]Drax has voted for all the CUTS, the only time i have ever seen Drax in Weymouth Town Centre is when he was canvassing in 2010, out of touch and out of sight, unless there is a photo opportunity in it for him..... Blacklisted
  • Score: -2

5:53pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Rocket dog3 says...

Bunch of idiotic di
Bunch of idiotic di Rocket dog3
  • Score: -6

6:36pm Mon 11 Aug 14

CoogarUK.com says...

How terrible.

People will just have to ensure they are properly equipped, carry proper safety equipment, be more careful, take more responsibility for their own actions and keep their dogs on leads and away from cliff edges, etc. etc.
How terrible. People will just have to ensure they are properly equipped, carry proper safety equipment, be more careful, take more responsibility for their own actions and keep their dogs on leads and away from cliff edges, etc. etc. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 10

6:40pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Rockbuddy says...

Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty. Rockbuddy
  • Score: 5

7:14pm Mon 11 Aug 14

marabout says...

Rockbuddy wrote:
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained.

Poole Coastguard - Staying
Swanage Coastguard - Staying
St Albans Goastguard - Staying
Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying
Lulworth coastguard - Staying
Portland coastguard - Staying
Wyke coastguard - Staying
West Bay Coastguard - Staying
Beer - Staying
Sidmouth - Staying
Exmouth - Staying


All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying.

All that is going is the person who answers the phone.
[quote][p][bold]Rockbuddy[/bold] wrote: Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.[/p][/quote]Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained. Poole Coastguard - Staying Swanage Coastguard - Staying St Albans Goastguard - Staying Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying Lulworth coastguard - Staying Portland coastguard - Staying Wyke coastguard - Staying West Bay Coastguard - Staying Beer - Staying Sidmouth - Staying Exmouth - Staying All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying. All that is going is the person who answers the phone. marabout
  • Score: 9

7:34pm Mon 11 Aug 14

diane2010 says...

crazy decision. i hope all the people, who have made a comment today , look back in ,6months,.This is a dissaster waiting to happen.and we should be ashamed.
crazy decision. i hope all the people, who have made a comment today , look back in ,6months,.This is a dissaster waiting to happen.and we should be ashamed. diane2010
  • Score: -1

8:21pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Laadeeda says...

September isn't the worry!

The crunch will come in 2017 when the helicopter moves to Hampshire!

The rapid response and evacuation facility will be lost.
September isn't the worry! The crunch will come in 2017 when the helicopter moves to Hampshire! The rapid response and evacuation facility will be lost. Laadeeda
  • Score: 9

8:28pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Brinboy says...

So sad, such a bad decision. loosing the Coastguard will be detrimental to the town and the local sailing & fishing community.
So sad, such a bad decision. loosing the Coastguard will be detrimental to the town and the local sailing & fishing community. Brinboy
  • Score: 2

8:43pm Mon 11 Aug 14

portland rebel says...

marabout wrote:
Rockbuddy wrote:
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained.

Poole Coastguard - Staying
Swanage Coastguard - Staying
St Albans Goastguard - Staying
Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying
Lulworth coastguard - Staying
Portland coastguard - Staying
Wyke coastguard - Staying
West Bay Coastguard - Staying
Beer - Staying
Sidmouth - Staying
Exmouth - Staying


All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying.

All that is going is the person who answers the phone.
you have no knowledge of the sea so why open your mouth and look a fool
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rockbuddy[/bold] wrote: Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.[/p][/quote]Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained. Poole Coastguard - Staying Swanage Coastguard - Staying St Albans Goastguard - Staying Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying Lulworth coastguard - Staying Portland coastguard - Staying Wyke coastguard - Staying West Bay Coastguard - Staying Beer - Staying Sidmouth - Staying Exmouth - Staying All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying. All that is going is the person who answers the phone.[/p][/quote]you have no knowledge of the sea so why open your mouth and look a fool portland rebel
  • Score: -5

9:41pm Mon 11 Aug 14

poolepoole says...

Brinboy wrote:
So sad, such a bad decision. loosing the Coastguard will be detrimental to the town and the local sailing & fishing community.
How?? . You still have the local Coastguard rescue stations and local Lifeboats. Wyke Coastguard and Weymouth Lifeboats are the ones who do the rescues in Weymouth. All What has happened is the main you rations desk will move to a Fareham . And sit next to solent Coastguard operations when they move to Fareham.
You will still get Portland Coastguard answer the radio. They are just sat at a different desk . you still get the same people doing the rescues on the ground/sea who know the area better than someone at a desk
[quote][p][bold]Brinboy[/bold] wrote: So sad, such a bad decision. loosing the Coastguard will be detrimental to the town and the local sailing & fishing community.[/p][/quote]How?? . You still have the local Coastguard rescue stations and local Lifeboats. Wyke Coastguard and Weymouth Lifeboats are the ones who do the rescues in Weymouth. All What has happened is the main you rations desk will move to a Fareham . And sit next to solent Coastguard operations when they move to Fareham. You will still get Portland Coastguard answer the radio. They are just sat at a different desk . you still get the same people doing the rescues on the ground/sea who know the area better than someone at a desk poolepoole
  • Score: -2

10:09pm Mon 11 Aug 14

portland.bill says...

Base it in india , thats the cheapest place for a CALL CENTRE thats all it is
Base it in india , thats the cheapest place for a CALL CENTRE thats all it is portland.bill
  • Score: 3

2:12am Tue 12 Aug 14

Houdini says...

The Coastguard themselves have stressed the importance of local knowledge and the lack of moral as the closures take place.
What amazes me, is that there are some comments on here, from what appear to be local people asking what all the fuss is about, that there will still be a coastguard service in place. The truth is, there will be no local co-ordination of what will be left, plus, the Portland SAR helicopter base will close very soon. These are very important in maintaining a coherent Coastguard service fit for the immense area it now covers.
In short, we are losing a service that has safeguarded the South Coast since it's inception, Portland being considered as a strategic location. That is still the case today and even more important as shipping, holiday makers and off shore wind turbines populate the area.
Privatisation is the name of the game, more money for less of a service, is the result.
The Coastguard themselves have stressed the importance of local knowledge and the lack of moral as the closures take place. What amazes me, is that there are some comments on here, from what appear to be local people asking what all the fuss is about, that there will still be a coastguard service in place. The truth is, there will be no local co-ordination of what will be left, plus, the Portland SAR helicopter base will close very soon. These are very important in maintaining a coherent Coastguard service fit for the immense area it now covers. In short, we are losing a service that has safeguarded the South Coast since it's inception, Portland being considered as a strategic location. That is still the case today and even more important as shipping, holiday makers and off shore wind turbines populate the area. Privatisation is the name of the game, more money for less of a service, is the result. Houdini
  • Score: 8

5:00am Tue 12 Aug 14

southwellman says...

portland rebel wrote:
marabout wrote:
Rockbuddy wrote:
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained.

Poole Coastguard - Staying
Swanage Coastguard - Staying
St Albans Goastguard - Staying
Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying
Lulworth coastguard - Staying
Portland coastguard - Staying
Wyke coastguard - Staying
West Bay Coastguard - Staying
Beer - Staying
Sidmouth - Staying
Exmouth - Staying


All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying.

All that is going is the person who answers the phone.
you have no knowledge of the sea so why open your mouth and look a fool
A wise man said.. keep you mouth shut and let people think your a fool instead of opening in and proving them right.. And I think you have just done that
[quote][p][bold]portland rebel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rockbuddy[/bold] wrote: Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.[/p][/quote]Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained. Poole Coastguard - Staying Swanage Coastguard - Staying St Albans Goastguard - Staying Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying Lulworth coastguard - Staying Portland coastguard - Staying Wyke coastguard - Staying West Bay Coastguard - Staying Beer - Staying Sidmouth - Staying Exmouth - Staying All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying. All that is going is the person who answers the phone.[/p][/quote]you have no knowledge of the sea so why open your mouth and look a fool[/p][/quote]A wise man said.. keep you mouth shut and let people think your a fool instead of opening in and proving them right.. And I think you have just done that southwellman
  • Score: 2

8:42am Tue 12 Aug 14

SouthCoastSailor says...

marabout wrote:
Rockbuddy wrote:
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained.

Poole Coastguard - Staying
Swanage Coastguard - Staying
St Albans Goastguard - Staying
Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying
Lulworth coastguard - Staying
Portland coastguard - Staying
Wyke coastguard - Staying
West Bay Coastguard - Staying
Beer - Staying
Sidmouth - Staying
Exmouth - Staying


All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying.

All that is going is the person who answers the phone.
Unfortunately it is the people in the operations room that need the local knowledge to know which teams to task and which assets are most appropriate for various incidents in different locations. A person in the water at Weymouth Beach is a very different case from a person in the water off Chesil Beach for instance. Those people are being forced out from the service and with them is going vast amounts of local knowledge!
[quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rockbuddy[/bold] wrote: Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.[/p][/quote]Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained. Poole Coastguard - Staying Swanage Coastguard - Staying St Albans Goastguard - Staying Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying Lulworth coastguard - Staying Portland coastguard - Staying Wyke coastguard - Staying West Bay Coastguard - Staying Beer - Staying Sidmouth - Staying Exmouth - Staying All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying. All that is going is the person who answers the phone.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately it is the people in the operations room that need the local knowledge to know which teams to task and which assets are most appropriate for various incidents in different locations. A person in the water at Weymouth Beach is a very different case from a person in the water off Chesil Beach for instance. Those people are being forced out from the service and with them is going vast amounts of local knowledge! SouthCoastSailor
  • Score: 6

5:08pm Fri 15 Aug 14

marabout says...

SouthCoastSailor wrote:
marabout wrote:
Rockbuddy wrote:
Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.
Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained.

Poole Coastguard - Staying
Swanage Coastguard - Staying
St Albans Goastguard - Staying
Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying
Lulworth coastguard - Staying
Portland coastguard - Staying
Wyke coastguard - Staying
West Bay Coastguard - Staying
Beer - Staying
Sidmouth - Staying
Exmouth - Staying


All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying.

All that is going is the person who answers the phone.
Unfortunately it is the people in the operations room that need the local knowledge to know which teams to task and which assets are most appropriate for various incidents in different locations. A person in the water at Weymouth Beach is a very different case from a person in the water off Chesil Beach for instance. Those people are being forced out from the service and with them is going vast amounts of local knowledge!
No, thats wrong.

With modern computerised telephone systems coupled with modern computerised navigation systems all linked into the new new software at Fareham all this weymouth beach v Chesil beach will become a thing of the past
[quote][p][bold]SouthCoastSailor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]marabout[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rockbuddy[/bold] wrote: Shocking decision. I understand having one central location but what you can not account for is the loss of local knowledge. This is priceless in providing information to the various agencies that attend incidents and assisting those in difficulty.[/p][/quote]Thankfully the local knowledge will be retained. Poole Coastguard - Staying Swanage Coastguard - Staying St Albans Goastguard - Staying Kimmeridge Coastguard - Staying Lulworth coastguard - Staying Portland coastguard - Staying Wyke coastguard - Staying West Bay Coastguard - Staying Beer - Staying Sidmouth - Staying Exmouth - Staying All the local knowledge that these coastguard stations have built up over years of valuable service will be staying. All that is going is the person who answers the phone.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately it is the people in the operations room that need the local knowledge to know which teams to task and which assets are most appropriate for various incidents in different locations. A person in the water at Weymouth Beach is a very different case from a person in the water off Chesil Beach for instance. Those people are being forced out from the service and with them is going vast amounts of local knowledge![/p][/quote]No, thats wrong. With modern computerised telephone systems coupled with modern computerised navigation systems all linked into the new new software at Fareham all this weymouth beach v Chesil beach will become a thing of the past marabout
  • Score: 0

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