I recieved an e mail about some plans which may impact on rescue services, I do not know this area well enough but people may have views and can also sign petitions:-
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency have started a Consultation process which may result in the removal of the Coastguard Rescue Boats at Tamar and Hope Cove which serve South West Devon, Plymouth and South East Cornwall coasts. Please follow the links below to register your views with the MCA.
As a contrast this is a “locals” view on what the Tamar Coastguard Boat has done to support the Community and we believe it is a convincing argument for retention of the boat. If you agree please pass this on to anyone else who may be able to contribute to the MCA Consultation.
Tamar Coastguard Rescue Boat – this boat was withdrawn from Operations by the MCA on 11th June 2008 for “survey” and has been laid up at the Tamar Coastguard Station since that date
Activity of the boat for the 12 month period prior to being withdrawn from service, from 12th June 2007.................to suspension of Ops June 2008
Accident Prevention: attended 12 events specifically for Accident Prevention
Plymouth Sound - home to 44 separate sailing, canoeing, diving, sea angling clubs. National Championship race events. Start / Finish for Ocean Races, Round the World, Transatlantic, Fastnet, Power Boat Racing. Devonport Dockyard - 2nd largest Naval Port in Western Europe - Tamar Coastguard Rescue Boat is the only Maritime & Coastguard Agency asset at these events. We have seen the MCA boat “Falcon” attend these events just three times over the last five years, whereas the Tamar Coastguard Boat is there on every occasion raising the profile of HM Coastguard at minimal cost to the Agency.
Rescues: 11 occasions paged & launched specifically for Search & Rescue work
Tamar Coastguard Boat fulfils a unique shallow water role in Plymouth Sound and the Tamar, which includes open sea, river estuary and 15 square miles of tidal mudflats.
16 occasions diverted by Brixham Coastguard Ops Room from Training to Rescue
Training: 40 occasions
Tamar Coastguard RescueTeam is based in a peninsula in SE Cornwall with the rivers Tamar, Lynher and St Germans making road transport difficult. To get from Tamar CRT base to the Saltash Bridge is 16 miles by road (27 minutes) but 2 miles by Boat . The Coastguard Boat has frequently been used to get team members quickly to the Saltash Bridge area where a significant proportion of incidents occur.
Facilities at the Coastguard Station:
16 trained helmsmen & crew
Garage for Boat + Coastguard Rescue Vehicle…… floor area: 12m x 12m
Office, Duty Room, Dry Suit store
Toilets, Shower, Galley
Slipway into river @ 100 yards – Coastguard Rescue Boat can launch from this slip at all states of tide and in all weather conditions (Torpoint Ferry slip)
Penalty if boat removed:
Unique resource for Plymouth Sound & the Tamar lost.
No afloat representation for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in
National / International yachting, power boat & MOD events.
Membership of 44 local clubs, Port Authority, MOD Police, Royal Navy wondering where HM Coastguard is?
Unique accident prevention afloat role lost. There is no other MCA asset reaching the public effectively on the water in support of accident prevention
*details of the 26 incidents where the Tamar Coastguard Rescue Boat would have improved the Search and Rescue response if it had not been suspended from operations are available from Cornwall County Councillor Brian Hobbs