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Malin co-ordinates 344th rescue 09.11.07

Malin Head Marine Rescue Centre co-ordinated its 344th mission this year when a fisherman was injured yesterday off the west coast.
The man who was on board a Spanish trawler, was airlifted to Galway University Hospital by coast guard helicopter after a fishhook lodged in one of his eyes.
The rescue operation, undertaken in high winds and rough seas 80 miles off the west coast, was co-ordinated by staff at Malin Head and comes as staff there fight for their own survival against Government downgrading plans.
"Our colleagues on the coastguard helicopter did a great job in extreme weather conditions, in northwesterly gale force 8 to severe gale force 9 winds with a big swell. This makes the lifting operation quite dangerous," said a spokesperson.
The Government plans to restructure marine rescue services nationally and downgrade the Malin Head station with the loss of up to 18 jobs.
The centre at Ireland's most northerly point has been operating for more than 100 years and is the oldest radio station in Europe.
Staff thought they were in line for an upgrade shortly with an additional ten workers to be recruited. Instead, they've been informed their centre is to be phased out as a marine rescue centre, to be retained as a coast guard operation only. The workers believe that, at most, only two staff will be retained under such measures.
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