Clyde coastguard station effectively closed, say campaigners

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Coastguard emergencies on the Clyde are now being handled from Belfast or Stornoway, according to campaigners fighting to save the Greenock maritime rescue co-ordination centre from closure.

A document published on Friday by the Coastguard SOS Campaign stated that while the Clyde MRCC is due to close on December 18, control of aerials would transfer to Belfast and Stornoway by 8pm on November 16, with Clyde staff staying on for a further month to support their colleagues in Northern Ireland and the Western Isles.

Dennis O’Connor from the Coastguard SOS Campaign said: “This further development shows that there is an apparent desire by some to rush through the closure plan.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the handover details had been planned for some time.

The transfer comes only a day after MPs on the Scottish affairs committee accused the Westminster coalition government of having given “no satisfactory explanation” for the decision to close both the Clyde MRCC and its counterpart on the Firth of Forth.