The tragic sinking of the Purbeck Isle in May has led to renewed calls to save the coastguard helicopter provision at Portland

The sinking of a fishing boat in Dorset, which resulted in the death of at least one crewmember, has led to renewed calls to keep the Search and Rescue (SAR) provision at Portland.

The crew of the Purbeck Isle went missing on 17 May and two days later the search was called off after the body of skipper David McFarlane was found at sea. The two remaining crewmembers, Robert Prowse and Jack Craig, have never been found.

Portland Coastguard is one of eight stations earmarked for closure by 2015 under government plans to “modernise” the service, and the helicopter is due to go by 2018. However, a new petition urges the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport to “reverse this decision before there is a loss of life”.

The petition will not close until 30 July 2013 .

For the full story see the September issue of MBM.