A flotilla of boats sailed into Weymouth harbour on Saturday afternoon as a final farewell to the station

A flotilla of boats sailed into Weymouth harbour on Saturday afternoon to mark the closure of Portland Coastguard station.

The event came as search co-ordinations and rescue services for Dorset and East Devon moved to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Hampshire after 35 years of being based at the station.


The changes

to Her Majesty’s Coastguard will see the NMOC and 10 other Coastguard Operation

Centres around the UK work together to manage search and rescue efforts.

The move, which has been widely criticised, aims to cut running costs and modernise the service.

Hundreds of boats gathered at the entrance of the Weymouth harbour at around 4.30pm on Saturday.
 
From there, the flotilla set sail to the coastguard office on the quayside, saluted by cannon fire from Northe Fort.
 
Flotilla organizer Roger Macpherson told the BBC: “It’s purely a thank you for the 35 years of service.”