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Brixham Coastguard Closes

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:31am 31st October 2014.

The coastguard that looks after south-east Cornwall closes for the last time on Friday.

Brixham has fallen victim to the cuts.

From Saturday, some of its calls for help will be answered in Hampshire, with Falmouth also taking over some of its shouts.

The Pendennis Point HQ was plugged into the National Maritime Operations Centre last week.

Work has been carried out at the search and rescue coordination centre, upgrading the technology and introducing new systems. This means Falmouth CGOC will be connected to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Hampshire and other Coastguard stations around the country, which will be able to offer mutual support during busy periods.

From Saturday 1 November 2014, Falmouth CGOC and the new national network will start to take on operations from Brixham Coastguard.

The changes to Her Majesty's Coastguard will see the NMOC and 10 other CGOCs around the UK work together to manage the workload. There will be no reduction in rescue resources. The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue units will be unaffected.

Speaking when the Pendennis Point HQ was plugged in, James Instance, Maritime Operations Controller at Falmouth CGOC, said: "The public won't notice any difference to the way search and rescue missions are responded to. If you call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, or issue a mayday broadcast, we will still be here to help you.

"The only change is that we'll have a new national network that will be able to oversee and assist with operations around the whole of the UK. Here at Falmouth CGOC we're now part of this network, so we can call upon help from our fellow Coastguards elsewhere in the country, and also in turn help them out if needed."

Peter Davies was manager at Brixham Coastguard and has now taken up a new role at the NMOC.

He said: "This new state-of-the-art network will ensure that we are better prepared and will improve how we manage the workload. It's key to remember though that the changes affect how we deliver the coordination to search and rescue incidents, but the rescue teams in your community are unaffected. There will still be the same number of lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams, helicopters and other rescue resources.

"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Brixham Coastguard, who have served the community with the upmost professionalism over many years. I am pleased that some are staying with the Coastguard and have relocated to roles elsewhere."

The new national network is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

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