William intervenes to save coastguard
London - Britain’s Prince William has successfully intervened to prevent plans to shut coastguard stations around the UK.
The second-in-line to the throne - who works as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot in Anglesey, North Wales - was distressed by suggestions that Transport Secretary Philip Hammond was contemplating closing ten of the 18 stations and leaving only three open at all times.
William, 29, - whose duties include supporting mountain rescue, coastguards and air ambulances - spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to reconsider and as a result Mr Hammond announced on Thursday that ten 24-hour stations will remain alongside a smaller centre in London.
Praise for the outcome
The change of plans will please those who had warned the shake-up - designed to save £7.5m a year from the £35m coastguards' bill - put holidaymakers, fishermen and others in danger.
MP Charles Kennedy praised the outcome, saying: "It is very welcome that the government has listened to the numerous voices which highlighted the damage the original plans would have done. In a world of ever-improving communication technology, centralisation with the loss of key local knowledge is a short-sighted way to make savings.”