Government announces Yarmouth coastguard station is to close

GREAT Yarmouth coastguard station is to close, the government has announced.

The decision has been met with 'utter dismay' by Richard Howitt, the Norfolk and Suffolk Euro MP who has helped lead the campaign against the closures.

The Labour MEP is warning that the decision will lead to a disaster like the Marchioness or the Gulf of Mexico on the East coast.

He is now writing to the European Commission calling on them to review whether the decision could breach EU rules on maritime safety and coastal protection.

Mr Howitt had helped organise the 9,000-strong 'Coastguard SOS' petition against the closures and says it is wrong to leave no coastguard presence anywhere on the East Anglian coastline.

He said: 'This really is a disaster waiting to happen and I am sad to say it will be loss of life life on the scale of the Marchioness disaster or Gulf-of-Mexico level of pollution on our coastline which will get a future Government to reverse today's cuts.

'Thousands of representations, answers to the hard questions and all of the arguments were won by the campaigners, so it is the Government which is losing today by breaking its own promise of consultation in good faith.

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'If my family goes on a pleasure boat ride or my children go swimming in the sea, I don't want the fear that any emergency would be dealt with from Humberside or Southampton, but that fear is today made real.

'We are all the losers.'

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