Coastal rescue teams on strike over insurance

COASTGUARD rescue teams which provide crucial protection for people using the cliffs and beaches throughout North Somerset have gone on strike. Rescue teams in Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea, have all taken strike action after discovering

COASTGUARD rescue teams which provide crucial protection for people using the cliffs and beaches throughout North Somerset have gone on strike.Rescue teams in Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea, have all taken strike action after discovering they would not be insured if they were injured while on duty.The action leaves the area without any dedicated coastguard teams to protect it until the row is resolved.The teams, made up of volunteers, are called out for emergencies such as cliff and mud rescue. Although much of the area will still be covered by RNLI lifeboat teams, there will be no dedicated teams for emergencies like cliff rescues or those which require a helicopter.Instead, other teams in the South West have been drafted in to cover the area until the dispute has settled.Paid coastguard staff, which operate the control room in Swansea, are still working. The volunteers in the three teams, the only teams in the South West to strike, say they do not have adequate insurance cover for themselves or to compensate their families in the event of injury.Bosses at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency say they are endeavouring to meet with the volunteers to try to come to a compromise.* Crews from Portishead's voluntary lifeboat were called out after a group of youths became stranded on rocks at Ladye Bay. Nine youths were trapped on a steep cliff face on Tuesday night after becoming cut off from a coastal path by the incoming tide. The group was stranded on rocks for an hour until they were guided to safety.


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