Westerly Owners Association speaks up on UK coastguard changes

Westerly Owners’ Association has over 3000 members in Britain and around the world
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UK's strongly supported Westerly Owners' Association (WOA) has come out swinging against the government's plans to change the way that the coastguard operates on the coastlines of Britain.

In a move that has alarmed many boat owners in the United Kingdom, the government announced recently that it would cut the number of 24-hour coastguard stations from 18 to three at Dover, Aberdeen and Southampton/Portsmouth with five more centres open only in daylight hours.

The Association announced that the plans did 'not reflect the interests of leisure craft sailors in British waters, even though they comprise the greatest number of coastal maritime users'.

It's complaint took the form of a letter to the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning, and was critical of the loss of local knowledge that the contraction would entail, and the expectation that boats are carrying electronic aids 'which are not carried by the majority of small craft'.

They also complain that the use of a small number of stations will necessarily mean that the coastguard officers may not understand the local dialects that are used in some areas of the UK.

WOA's charter does not include campaigning on issues, but on this occasion the members felt so strongly that they wished a formal response be sent to the government.