Centre’s closure will put mariners in peril
As a strong supporter of your government, it is with great regret that I have to write this letter criticizing your recent decision to close the Marine Rescue Centre in St. John’s. As a former sea captain and a person who spends a fair amount of time on the ocean, I know full well the dangers that occur around our shores.
As a volunteer member for 30plus years with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, I have had many contacts with the Marine Rescue Centre in St. John’s and have considered them as members of my family.
We already have a substandard search and rescue on the northeast coast of Canada because of the bankers hours that the Department of National Defense provides with the helicopters in Gander, where for 16 hours a day they have a two-hour response time and for that reason we have lost many lives unnecessarily to the ocean. When you are in danger on the ocean one minute could be the difference between life and death.
By closing the Marine Rescue Centre in St. John’s, you will only put our mariners in greater peril.
I am fully behind your government in getting the debt reduced (we have to) but there are many other unnecessary programs that can be cut. I am imploring you to reverse this decision so that when we are on the ocean and get in trouble we will have the comfort of knowing that when a call goes out we will be talking to someone who knows the conditions of the sea and the coastlines where we are located. Wilfred Bartlett