asked the Minister for Trade if he is satisfied with the present organisation of the Coast Guard and search and rescue facilities in the Solent area.
[pursuant to the reply, 24 May 1982, c. 218]: The Coastguard organisation in the Solent area is controlled from the maritime rescue sub centre at the Needles. This provides continuous VHF radio coverage for the whole of the area and is equipped with VHF radio direction finding equipment. The auxiliary Coastguard station at Calshot maintains a watch for 10 hours a day and there are auxiliary stations at Bembridge, Eastney and Hayling Island, where a watch is maintained in bad weather.Rescue facilities in the area comprise RNLI lifeboats stationed at Yarmouth, Lymington, Calshot, Hayling Island, Bembridge and Portsmouth; the Royal Navy Wessex helicopter flight, temporarily at Portland, but normally based at Lee-on-Solent; and the Coastguard rescue companies at the auxiliary Coastguard stations. I am satisfied that these arrangements together provide an efficient and effective organisation for marine search and rescue in the Solent area.