As divers we know the importance of search and rescue helicopters and coastguard services. Whilst we hope to never use them, we do feel some reassurance that they exist. That should we have a problem, there are safety elements in place to help.
It is with this in mind that I ask you all to sign the petition to help save the Portland Coastguard Helicopter which as been scheduled for closure in 2018, against lots of expert advice and without consultation with the local community.
Here is an extract from the official petition.
The Secretary of State for Transport has announced the Portland Search and Rescue helicopter base will close in 2018 despite strong protests from residents, south coast MPs, medical professionals and lifesavers. The closure has been decided without any consultation of local experts.
This is not just a local issue. Dorset attracts 16m visitors a year from all over the country. Many come to enjoy the glorious coastline; sailors, divers, walkers, swimmers, fishermen, boaters –anyone who uses the waters off the south coast will be affected. Recent, extreme weather events have shown that the helicopter is necessary inland and offshore.
The Portland SAR helicopter is already one of the busiest in the country, despite being open for only 12 hours a day. To remove it, relying instead upon helicopters from bases over 60 miles away, breaks the integrity of the cover we depend upon
Please use the link below and sign this important petition which closes on 30th July. Coastguard helicopters save lives and as divers this is a crucial service.