Save our Coastal Services by Misti Debonno

 The Pride of Britain

There is nothing that upsets me more than blatant disregard for our unsung hero’s.  Be it our soldiers, NHS workers, firemen, policemen, sea-faring RNLI or Coast Guards to name but a few. And so it was with total devastation I read about the proposed Coastguards Station closures.  My heart sank at such an incredulous loss to our once Great country…

Dating back as far as pre A.D. 400 civilians were employed to watch our coast and give warning of any impending attacks from the Saxon longboats.  The then ‘Count of the Saxon Shore’ (intelligent ruler that he was) had realised our weak coastal defences and set about building watch towers to house guards, who from their vast vantage point would protect the villagers from such threats as invasion .  Using light beacons they would warn villagers of such peril and summon the troops.  In the 1900’s, however, evolution demanded that the now hugely profitable smuggling activities should lead to the formation of the Coast Guard’s to man our shores against this new age threat.    Yet again these heroic men who are accredited with an innate understanding of both their shores and seas were called upon to man our coasts during the Second World War.  As with many traditional backgrounds knowledge is passed down throughout generations and with it comes a deep-seated love and understanding for all that encompasses.  No matter how many books are studied one would never be able to offer the personal knowledge that these coastguards have inherited, gathered and maintained.  To the average Joe however, our Coastguards are accredited as being a vital part of a  ‘Life-Saving Force’ and as such we proudly hold them in a status of honour.  Their combined efforts with the RNLI etc, in providing a ‘search and rescue’ role has saved many lives.  Who amongst us would feel happy knowing that our government had procured financial savings at the cost of our safety, indeed against the value of our lives.

In recent years there has been many a story relating to the rescue of crew men upon suffering serious damage to their vessels during storms, to include cargo ships, yachts and boats.  The Coast Guard is always first point of call in these situations and it’s a crying shame that though we may admire from afar we never stop to truly understand  the depths of their passion for the job.

Though most rescue’s are completed successfully and without loss of life, these great men know no boundaries.  ‘Days before Christmas in 1981, the Union Star cargo ship contacted our Coastguards informing them of their ship’s engine failure.  They were at the mercy of force 12 winds with terrifying 60ft (18m) waves that tossed the large vessel about as though it were a mere toy.  Instantly our Coast Guards sprang into action requesting both the launch of the RNLI lifeboat and also the assistance of an R.A.F helicopter!  Despite valiantly battling the raging seas and repeatedly going alongside the cargo boat to rescue those on board, the eight strong crew lost their lives performing the job that they loved, had a great understanding about and believed in…

Inevitably there would be tremendous pressure put on all rescue teams without that vital support of the Coast Guards.  In particular the experience and knowledge built and gained from many years devotion to both the job and the area being critical to such rescue’s.  Quite simply, without such backup there would be a great many more tragedies…

As South West yachtsman Alex Bennett said “Our coastguards do a fantastic, professional job and it’s because they have that local knowledge.  They know the waters and how the weather affects them and that’s why they are able to act decisively to save lives.”

As a nation, we it’s people need to stand tall and fight these proposed closures.  We should all be full of admiration for these unsung hero’s.  Recently through ‘Twitter’ I have met so many deep-hearted guy’s, many of them Coast Guards, who oddly enough all choose careers that take them away from the security of their personal lives.  Their roles infringing upon family relationships and sometimes incurring risk to themselves, yet making them the kind of individuals that our Government keeps informing us our great nation is seriously depleted of

Great Britain is constructed of history, pride and life-long traditions.  Our Coast Guards are a unique team, and in as much as they choose their job, the job also chooses them.  They give up their time to meticulously implement and oversee rescue missions for us, though we spend little time thanking them for it.  Our Coast Guards are born and bred with a passion for our coastal shoes and treacherous waters.  Take that away from them and you have not only taken away their very substance but you have deprived future generations of an incredulous knowledge that cannot be taught in text books, of a passion that fires their commitment to complete a job no matter the cost to their own lives, both physically and emotionally.  And so, sadly, you the Government, are the ones who will finally stamp out the ‘Great‘ in Great BRITAIN.

Having researched the Governments modernisation plans, I surprised myself in actually agreeing with them! The modern-day demands that we continue to evolve with it but in their haste to meet this new challenge, they are riding rough-shod over our safety and crushing the structure that has always bound us as a nation.  Today, there is  more demand than ever before for our Coast Guards.  All stations should be incorporated into such plans instead of the proposed closures.  There is always room for improvement and progression but be warned ‘Government’, take away our Coast Guards and you will be held accountable for the inevitable deaths your actions bring.  And those losses will go down in history as having being dealt by your own hand!!!

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3 thoughts on “Save our Coastal Services by Misti Debonno

  1. This is the work of somebody who understands the passion the members of the rescue crews have for the duty they carry out on behalf of others the story of the lifeboat crew that gave their all (The Penlee Lifeboat Crew on board the Solomon brown Disaster paid the ultimate price RIP )thank you Misti for you kind words bless you

  2. I cant believe I have read about possible Coast guard station closures…this cannot happen! I never thought this incredible service would be something that any member of my family would need…how wrong could I have been!
    I owe alot to these guys and can’t thank them enough.
    Please…NO CLOSURES!!!

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