Lifeboat operators have warned that Government plans to bring market forces into maritime communications could force some lifeboat stations to close.

Lifeboat operators have warned that Government plans to bring market forces into maritime communications could force some lifeboat stations to close. Several independent lifeboat organisations say raising extra funds just to use the radio could prevent them buying essential new boats and life saving equipment.

And a spokesman for the RNLI said that it could cost the organisation an extra £260,000 a year, enough to buy several inshore lifeboats. Ofcom says that Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP) will encourage efficiency in maritime and civil aviation radio spectrum use.

It has issued a consultation paper on its plans, including a question as to whether life-saving charities should get a discount compared with other users, and is seeking responses by the end of October.