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Thu 17th February
Ms Ritchie, who visited the coastguard centre last Monday, said: “I have written to the British Prime Minister expressing the deep concerns of people across the North about the proposed closure of our coastguard centre due to Tory cuts.
“This frontline emergency service has saved countless lives since its establishment, and in the past year alone, its team has dealt with more than 700 incidents from Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough, including many in South Down.
“Local knowledge of operations in stations is fundamental to delivering this efficient service for people here and the same standard simply cannot be delivered from England.
“I have sent a clear message to David Cameron that the coordinated coastguard station in Bangor is vital and must remain open.
“The courage of those who devote time to rescue efforts on our shores must not be taken for granted by government and funding for this centre, the only station in Northern Ireland, therefore must be protected.”
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