Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Coastguard threat focus of meeting

A cross party delegation held at meeting at the coastguard station in Bangor on Monday evening to discuss the threat to the station.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon, who attended, said the group was even more convinced now that the station must remain as it is .

He said: “In the last year NI Coastguard and RNLI dealt with 654 incidents, 234 people were rescued, 930 were assisted and there were 22 fatalities which is double the amount of 4 years ago. The statistics prove the point and as most of the calls upon the coastguard come at night time – there is an even greater need for local knowledge that saves the time that could be the difference between a rescue story or a story of heartbreak.”

Mr Shannon pointed out that both commercial shipping and leisure boating were large scale locally, while the area lay beneath a flight corridor not to mention being the location of Royal Navy manoeuvres and submarine excursions.

“The facts are simple — when an emergency comes in time is the critical factor and that speed is delivered by Bangor Coastguard Service and its staff. Some things are more important than money saving – and the saving of lives certainly falls into this category,” he added.

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