FISHERMENS FEDERATION REJECTS PROPOSAL TO DOWNGRADE VITAL SOUTH-EAST RESCUE HELICOPTER SERVICE – Fishupdate.com

FISHERMENS FEDERATION REJECTS PROPOSAL TO DOWNGRADE VITAL SOUTH-EAST RESCUE HELICOPTER SERVICE Published:  16 March, 2010

While welcoming the overall commitment of resources for the national Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) service from 2012, the Federation of Irish Fishermen today rejected as “scandalous” the reported proposal to downgrade the SAR Helicopter service based at Waterford to a daytime only service.

Federation Chairman Lorcán Ó Cinéide commented “We all appreciate the severe financial constraints on the public purse, but the proposal to downgrade the south-east from 2012 is literally a matter of life and death for fishermen and sea-users of all kinds. Not only is the southeast a major location for fishing activity for Irish and indeed French and UK fishermen but it is also contains one of the most important sea-ferry and merchant shipping routes to between Ireland to the UK and France. It is essential that the 24 hour cover be maintained in all areas in order to be able to respond quickly to emergencies”.

The Federation is certain that there are many areas in which financial savings can be made without threatening such a vital safety service. It will seek an urgent meeting with Transport Minister Noel Dempsey in relation to this vital issue.