The government confirmed earlier today that it plans to cut coastguard coordination centres by more than half but is this a cynical cost-cutting exercise or will it rejuvenate the service?

Earlier today shipping minister Mike Penning confirmed that he plans to close 10 of the 18 Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in the UK, effectively halving the current provision.

Of the eight coordination centres that remain, only three will operate a 24-hour service while the other five will only operate during daylight hours.

Penning says this will “modernise the coastguard, enabling it to deliver a more integrated and improved level of service, at lower cost.”

What do you think? Is this placing the safety of motorboaters in jeopardy and putting too much pressure on voluntary organisations such as the RNLI, or is it a much-needed revamp of an ageing service?

Vote in our poll or leave your comments below.

For the full story on the coastguard closures see the February issue of MBM.