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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Coastguards strike over damages
Brian MacFarlane
Brian MacFarlane is partially disabled following the accident
A coastguard team in Pembrokeshire say more crews are joining their protest as they strike in a row over compensation.

The Broadhaven team say they will not be responding to emergency calls. Coastguards in Fishguard and St Davids are expected to join them on Wednesday.

The action comes after a volunteer, who lost his job after damaging his knee in a rescue, claims he did not receive adequate compensation.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it would discuss the insurance issue.

But by midnight on Wednesday an estimated 80 miles of the Pembrokeshire coastline will be left without cover.

Brian MacFarlane was injured while rescuing an animal from a cliff face four years ago.

We are ordinary people who do an extraordinary thing.
John Davies, Fishguard station officer

The 38-year-old father subsequently lost his main job as a residential social worker, and claims he has not been given fair compensation.

His local crew at Fishguard threatened to withdraw their cover until the matter was resolved, and have since had a lot of messages of support from across the UK.

Fishguard station officer, John Davies said: "We are very heartened by the level of support from other coastguard rescue teams around the country.

"We very much hope that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will recognise and address our concerns when we meet them on Thursday."

"We are ordinary people who do an extraordinary thing. We are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to risk our lives to rescue people. "But we are not willing to risk our livelihoods and the welfare of our families."

The Fishguard crew have said at least six other teams from west Wales, England and Scotland, have joined their protest.

The MCA said they recognised there was an issue over insurance and they would be meeting to identify the areas where officers are not adequately covered.




SEE ALSO
Strike threat's guidelines call
11 Apr 07 |  South West Wales
Search and rescue 'strike' threat
10 Apr 07 |  South West Wales

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