South West Wales

Swansea coastguard station to close in March 2015

coastguard vehicle
Image caption Wales will go from three to two coastguard stations

Swansea coastguard station is to close in March 2015, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has confirmed.

The UK government announced in 2011 that Swansea was one of nine stations around the UK which would close progressively by that time.

A new National Maritime Operations Centre will open next year which the MCA said would manage workload on a national scale.

A 110,000-signature petition failed to halt the Swansea closure.

Holyhead and Milford Haven, which were both originally marked for closure, were reprieved.

The MCA said a new national network would be completed by the end of 2015 which would enable the operations centre and the 10 remaining coastguard stations to work together.

In a statement, it said there would be no reduction in national resources.

Chief executive Sir Alan Massey said: "We are moving into a new era for HM Coastguard that will reinforce the ability of our staff to ensure the safety of seafarers and the public.

"We want to continue being a world-class organisation that is committed to preventing loss of life, improving maritime safety and protecting the marine environment.

"We realise that this whole change programme will be tough for some of our people, particularly those who feel that they have no future with HM Coastguard.

"We recognise that, and will do our very best to work with every individual to ensure they are properly equipped and supported in making the best decision for them."

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