Furness coastguard team stood down in safety probe
Last updated at 16:55, Friday, 11 January 2013
A FURNESS coastguard team has been stood down pending a health and safety investigation.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has confirmed Walney Coastguard, which has 14 volunteer members, was taken offline around December 20.
The MCA spokeswoman was unable to provide any estimate when the team would return to action.
No call-outs have been received since the decision was taken, but the neighbouring Arnside and Millom coastguard teams have been tasked with covering the patch.
In a statement, the MCA said: “Walney Coastguard Rescue Team has been taken offline for operational reasons.
“We are conducting a review and, while this is ongoing, cover will be provided by flank teams.”
Liverpool Coastguard confirmed an investigation had been launched. A spokesman for the Merseyside base said the Walney team had been taken offline for safety reasons relating to equipment.
He said a team from MCA headquarters was due to visit the Liverpool Coastguard base on Wednesday, and then visit Walney on Thursday.
John Whitford, station officer at Millom Coastguard, confirmed his team had been tasked with covering Walney’s patch.
He said the team had worked with Walney in the past and was “au fait” with the patch, but naturally, geography dictates it would take longer for them to respond.
John Falvey, Barrow RNLI spokesman, said the team was unaware Walney Coastguard was offline until he was contacted by the Evening Mail.
He said: “We are controlled by the co-ordination centre at Liverpool Coastguard and Walney Coastguard are another asset, as are the RNLI, to attend incidents.
“We do the rescues at sea and they do the combing of the shore and jobs like that.
“So Walney Coastguard are a partner agency of ours, under the control and direction of Liverpool Coastguard, and we have not been informed, officially or otherwise, that they have been taken off service.
“We’ll just carry on doing what we do. If we’re called, then we’ll go.”
First published at 16:39, Friday, 11 January 2013
Published by http://www.walneylocal.co.uk
Have your say
Walney Coastguard WAS NOT STOOD DOWN!!!!
Walney Coastguard Officers "Stood THEMSELVES down due to GENUINE SAFETY REASON, (still not resolved), BULLYING & HARRASMENT!! But then again the MCA spokesperson would not tell you the TRUTH would they??