St. John's maritime rescue centre to begin closing
Staff largely gone by Wednesday
The federal maritime rescue sub-centre in St. John's will stop taking emergency calls at noon Wednesday.
After that, requests for help will be rerouted to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax. It's part of federal plans to consolidate some services and programs.
Merv Wiseman – who works at the St. John's centre and has fought to keep it open – predicts dire consequences.
"[It’s] leaving a void in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador that will result in someone dying," he said. "I don’t know who’s going to die, I don’t have their names yet, but we will know their names, and that will be sad."
Wiseman said the centre will have two staff members around the clock until April 30, as a precautionary measure.
But he said the centre will close down entirely on May 8.
Of the dozen people working there now, four – including Wiseman – will retire. The others will be reassigned within the federal government.