#Organizations - Volunteer Organizations
Department for Transport / Maritime Coastguard Agency
United Kingdom

Flamborough Head is situated on the east coast of Yorkshire,United Kingdom. Its a most beautiful breath taking place Stunning Cliffs of up to 400 ft from Sea level, Sea Bird Sanctuaries of Bempton cliffs (next door) I wish you could visit one day and see for yourself how lovely it is. But we have a serious problem and it is worrying the local community in fact it is safe to say they are in despair.

At the tip of this most eastern peninsula, known as the Flamborough Headland there is a Coastguard lookout station. After a routine visit from the fire brigade it was reported that there are some improvements to be made in order to bring this station up to the new fire safety regulation standards. The Maritime Coastguard Agency closed this station down rather than have the work done.

The entire stations emergency search and rescue team and all the emergency equipment has been moved to Bridlington coastguard station some about 6 - 10 miles away from this most treacherous coastline. This included, defibrillators and oxygen equipment that Flamborough Coastguard held on there premises, They also had a first response team, who were highly trained and ready for action when ever they are called onto the cliffs or the beach or the holiday camps or even the local residence as they were only around the corner.

The road structure is not good in this area and is often slow moving due to the volume of much welcomed holiday makers to the camps through the summer season. Although the Coastguard have the ability to use Blue lights and Sirens(Blues and Two’s), They are not allowed through red lights or to break the national speed limit They have no more rights than an average motorist has. It is felt by all including ex members, retired members,and even operational Coastguard members, that life will be at risk needlessly due to time delays in getting onto the cliffs or beach or holiday camps.

This coastline has taken many lives in the past, seafarers and Holiday makers and even locals. My Father was a Lifeboat man at Flamborough head in his early life and then moved on to Bridlington Lifeboat and became second coxswain and won many bravery awards in his 25 years of active service, he always insisted on, and stood by the fact that this coastguard station was there only eyes and ears while fighting the monstrous mountainous waves and Swells that lashed this coastline and Cliffs of this headland on a regular bases.

On thousands of occasions this coastguard station was involved in the most complicated and daring rescues and without them being their, would have led to disaster and loss of life. This Most Eastern peninsula has a treacherously complicated tidal flow and ebb and if you add a breeze in the right direction and holiday makers without the knowledge of the locals it becomes a recipe for disaster. You need Knowledge of the area on site to warn others of the dangers such as tide tables and the flags that other beaches have to tell you if it's safe that day or not. This closure cannot be allowed to happen. Just out to sea you can sea Oil Rigs and a very busy shipping channel, hundreds of ships use this route every day.

In 1952 a crew member of the Bridlington lifeboat lost his life, while the lifeboat was responding to a call that two young girls were being dragged out by the tide, waves and wind. The Bridlington Lifeboat had spotted something in the water and had gone in closer to investigate a great swell rolled in and caught the lifeboat broadside on causing her to capsize throwing every member of the crew into the sea but one who managed to stay onboard even when the lifeboat was upside down. The lifeboat did self right again and a few members were pulled back onboard.

The coastguard or rocket men as they were also known climbed down the cliffs and pulled the remaining crew from this raging torrent of mountainous waves, but one crew member didn’t survive, he had sustained injuries and drowned. The two young girls were pulled from the sea one was by a Royal Air Force rescue launch and the other was by another Lifeboat but both had perished.

This also left Bridlington lifeboat out of service as she had been holed by the razor sharp rocks she was sinking and had to make for the beach before she went down, By luck and courage of the crew left onboard she made it, without any more loss of life on this occation. This inspired many people to join this wonderful service.

On 7th May 1984 On The Vessel "CAROL SANDRA"

4 were lost when a local cobble “The Carol Sandra” capsized in treacherous seas. They were all local fisherman and some were even part of the Flamborough lifeboat crew and knew the sea and this treacherous coastline more than they knew dry land. The crew were just making a living as thousands had done before them in their own fishing boat.

The Vessel "NORTH WIND III" on a private hired fishing trip picked up a May Day broadcast by the coastguard after parts of the Carol Sandra were found smashed to pieces; with other Debris. but Nobody saw her go down.

The really sad part is just above this incident with the Carol Sandra on the cliffs, is a closed down coastguard station on a small outcrop called Breil Newk lookout, Who knows how this could have turned out, if that station hadn't have been closed down. The Tragedy that was now happening, could have been realized Earlier.

The Vessel North Wind III Was the first, to arrive on scene to look for any survivors of the Carol Sandra. While searching in the sea for any movements, nobody must have seen this swell rolling because it had caught The North wind out, Another tragedy was unfolding.The wave rolled in and capsized the North Wind throwing the day tripper fisherman into the sea, with the skipper and son stuck in the wheel house, eventually after 10 – 20 minutes they were able to break free and make good their escape. They were pulled from the sea by local people who had climbed down the steep cliffs to rescue them, some didn’t even have ropes!

The three day tripper fisherman never made it to shore they all perished in this heavy sea.

7 People lost there lives that day, A winch man from a Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Helicopter was hospitalized after an attempt to land a rescued person onto the lifeboat failed due bad weather conditions and heavy seas.
There is a monument for the guys that lost there life's that day any villager will point to its location.

Many of my family members are involved with the coastguard or lifeboat service to this day the longest reign as a lifeboat man in my family by one person is 37 Years. They all have given most of their lifetime ensuring that people stay safe at the coast.

I live in Great Yarmouth and work for an offshore lifeboat manufacturer, whatever happens at Flamborough Head will not affect my normal everyday life, but I understand the perils that will face the people of this coastline and so I cannot just sit here and do nothing.

No-one is trying to cause embarrassment or problems for The Maritime Coastguard Agency, In fact we can give nothing but respect for the fine courageous work that the hands on professional and voluntary members have achieved. They have made our coastline safer, for the local people, holiday makers and seafarers, And the odd pet.

The decision to close Flamborough Head Coastguard station is just wrong. Flamborough Villagers have always had links with these emergency services literally forever, and so this news of closure has become a total blow to them. They have already lost their conventional lifeboat in the last decade, due more modern faster boats with greater technology and coverage. Flamborough Head now has a small inshore lifeboat which has seen seen lots of action and saved many lives. I am proud and truly humbled by the sheer guts and determination of all our emergency voluntary services ""long may you reign""

We need to find a way to keep this station open. All the local school children are willing to help if they can, through fund raising to try and help take care of the improvements.

I am willing to try the sponsorship route, if that's what it takes. My father relied on this station and to be honest they guided Bridlington Lifeboat on many occasions by keeping an eye on them as they passed the cliffs and Headland on a shout or heading home afterwards. I like to think that The Flamborough Coastguard station personnel kept my father safe and brought him home to my Mum, and two sisters, and me, we were all little kids back then and needed our Dad.

Please give us your support by signing our petition, this would do so much more for moral and perhaps we could even have this decision to close Flamborough head lookout turned around. From my point of view, Many people have lost there lives or given their lives to save others and committed the ultimate unselfish act.

Our Facebook Link is below please come and visit us and join our group and show your support.

Our campaign on facebook now has many members and still growing http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=378253363644
This is the latest Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8elrN4Cduqw.
This is our first Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMZwcSG_2ik

We the undersigned call on the Department of Transport and the Maritime Coastguard Agency to:

(1) Change the decision to close Flamborough Head Coastguard station and to undertake the repairs and modernization of the premises. And bring this station up to current safety regulations, to make this station operational again.

(2) Have a public enquiry into why this station has been neglected and left to fall below safety guidelines in the first place. Find out who made the decision to close this station without even a warning to the local Community, holiday camps that there visitors were now at risk.

(3) Move the entire stations search and rescue equipment back to Flamborough head Coastguard Station or a close proximity to the station, while the station is being repaired. This is to include life saving defibrillators and oxygen equipment, they held on their premises before the closure.

(4) Notify the Voluntary Organization, such as The National Coastwatch Institution,The Sea Safety Group or let the locals start their own group as others have. And give them permission to take over the running of this station.

We can then start to raise money for the upkeep and bring this station back into service, and be fully manned as it was once before.

Thank you for your support and for signing our petition

George Traves & Liam Cappleman

"Your safety is our Concern"

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The Save Flamborough Head Coastguard Station From Closure! petition to Department for Transport / Maritime Coastguard Agency was written by George Traves and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.