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Search and Rescue Rethink Call

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6:08am 29th November 2011

A Cornish MP is laying into plans for our search and rescue service to be run by civilian crews.

The goverment has said a private company will take over from the MoD by 2016.

St Ives Andrew George is worried about a loss of expertise and says it should stay at Culdrose, "Of course I am disappointed that the Government hasn't chosen to completely reverse the decision of the last Government and award the search and rescue contract to the Ministry of Defence. After all, 771 Squadron has an impressive record and its search and rescue provides mutual benefits for both the public and service personnel.

"It would nevertheless make sense to continue running the service from Culdrose. Certainty and reassurance is what the service needs after such a period of dramatic change and uncertainty.

"However, we need to be sure that the contract doesn't limit the service to just maritime search and rescue, but also has flexibility to be scrambled for casualty and medical evacuation, as is currently provided by the 771 Squadron. This is especially vital in darkness, when the Air Ambulance can't operate."

6:08am 29th November 2011

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