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Petition to restore Arnside Coastguard collects over one thousand signatures

November 19, 2008 11:10 AM
Tim with retired coastguard George Crossman at Arnside Coastguard station

Tim Farron is calling on the Martime and Coastguard Agency to bring Arnside's coastguard boat back into use.

Local MP Tim Farron has called on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to restore the Arnside Coastguard after over one thousand residents signed a petition put forward by Mr Farron and local Councilors Pru Jupe and Ian Stewart demanding its return.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had removed the boat for repair, but have consistently failed to say when it will be back and whether it will even return to Arnside. There has been similar confusion at Burgh-by-Sands on the Solway Firth, which has also had its coastguard boat removed.

The MCA have instead designated a craft from Morecambe to respond to emergencies on the Kent estuary. However, local residents and former coastguards have raised concerns that the Morecambe craft will take too long to reach Kent estuary.

Speaking this morning, Mr Farron said: "The tides on Morecambe Bay and in particular the Kent estuary are some of the most dangerous in the UK. We must do all we can to avoid a repeat of the 2004 tragedy at Morecambe Bay.

"Over a thousand people have signed our petition which shows how committed the community is to returning this vital service to the area. I hope that more people will take the opportunity to sign our petition and show the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that they must act now to protect people using the estuary by bringing the Arnside boat back."