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Last ditch bid to save helicopter
THE FIGHT to save Portland helicopter continues as a report defending the search and rescue facility has gone before the Commons Transport Select Committee.
The 12-page document outlines every argument why the service should be saved and highlights the lack of consultation undertaken before the plans were announced, the high number of emergency ‘shouts’ or call-outs in the Portland coastguard area and the extra flight time that would be added if the helicopter moved to an alternative site like Lee-on-Solent.
The report, created by South Dorset MP Richard Drax and his team, is in response to the select committee’s request for submissions of written evidence on changes to the coastguard service, to be handed in by last Friday, September 14.
In particular, the committee asked for evidence of how changes to the coastguard service would be implemented and their potential impact on service delivery. Mr Drax concludes in the report that axing the helicopter in 2017 would be ‘an act of sheer folly, especially when the evidence for retention is so clear’.
He added: “The Transport Secretary has a duty of care to my constituents and to the millions of others who visit Dorset.”
Mr Drax is also pushing for an adjournment debate and is urging people to sign an online petition by visiting epetitions.direct.gov. uk/petitions/36619