MP Mark Menzies in high-level talks over need for additional Fylde coastguard vehicle

Fylde MP Mark Menzies says ministers and Coastguard chiefs have been left in no doubt of the needs for a second vehicle for the area following high-level talks.

By Tony Durkin
Friday, 20th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Mr Menzies met with Maritime Minister Robert Courts and Chief Coastguard Pete Mizen to discuss the challenges faced by teams working in Fylde and to highlight recent tragic events on the borough’s beaches.

The MP is seeking a commitment to provide a second off-road vehicle to ensure rescuers and medics can reach casualties on the sands without delays.

He said: “Twice in the past three years we have seen lives lost on the beach at St Annes.

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies is concerned that the Coastguard based at Lytham St Annes currently just has the one vehicle available.

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MP's plea for new Lytham St Annes coastguard vehicle

“I do not want to see another repeat.

“That is why it is so important the Coastguard teams working locally have the resources they need.

“It is not good enough to say that other vehicles are available in Fleetwood or Southport which, in rush hour or on a busy Saturday, are more than an hour away.

“When there is an incident on the beach every minute, every second counts.

“That is the point I made to the Minister and the Chief Coastguard.”

Mr Menzies has welcomed a commitment by the Chief Coastguard to send senior officers to St Annes to see for themselves the unique challenges local crews face.

He also intends to host a meeting of local organisations to determine how beach safety can be improved.

Mr Menzies said: “It is vital those who are making decisions about equipment see and understand the area.

“The two tragic deaths at St Annes demonstrate a clear need for extra resources and show just how important it is to be able to deploy onto the beach quickly.”

New technology could also have a role to play in supporting HM Coastguard officers in Fylde with Mr Menzies hopeful drone technology could be deployed, should trials prove successful.

He said: “Drones are another potential tool for our Coastguard to deploy and I welcome that Lytham and St Annes will be a priority, should trials prove successful.

“But that does not mean we do not need that second vehicle, that one crucial investment which could end up saving lives.”