Campaigners who are opposed to the imminent closure of the Clyde coastguard station in Inverclyde will hold a flotilla protest later this month in a show of support for the base.
Boats will gather outside the Greenock Navy Buildings and release red flares on the evening of Friday, August 31.
The coastguard station, which covers around 2500 miles of coastline, will close by the end of this year as part of a shakeup of the service by the coalition government in Westminster.
Emergencies will be dealt with by teams in Northern Ireland.
Campaigners are dismayed, as the station is the third busiest in the UK and monitors commercial shipping, fishing vessels and two naval facilities at Coulport and Faslane, where nuclear submarines are based.
John Houston, who founded the Save Clyde Coastguard campaign, said: “We realise that the centre is going to close. That is a given. It would take a miracle now to have that rescinded by the government.
“The event is a show of thanks for the coastguard for their hard work and dedication. We are not going to have this opportunity again.”
Organisers of the event have called on all “commercial, naval and leisure traffic” to gather near the Inverclyde town at around 8pm. They have also encouraged members of the public to gather on the shore.
Mr Houston, who enjoys using his boat off the west coast with his family and also takes part in a sea cadets group, said the red flare protest had received support from as far away as Australia.
He said: “Four people from south Wales have also said they are going to travel up in their boats.
“Red flares indicate distress at sea. I am distressed that the government has chosen to cut a vital emergency service that will cost lives.
“It (the coastguard) is about local knowledge. It is about skills and experience that built up in that centre over a number of years.
“It is going to give me no joy to turn round in five years and say ‘I told you that would happen, I told you people would die as a consequence of this’.”
Mr Houston added: “I can’t emphasise enough how reassuring it is having these guys on the other end of the radio. They understand the coastline. It is one of the longest coastlines in Europe and they cover every inch of it very well.
“There is going to be closures across the UK and it has not been thought out well. It is penny pinching, and you can’t do that with your emergency services
“The Scottish Government is a dead end as it is a national argument. They are saying whatever we want to hear. Alex Salmond said that if this was under their control he would save the coastguard. These are just grand gestures.
“It is a Westminster issue and I am afraid some pen pusher Mike Penning (the shipping minister) is responsible for coming up with the project.”
Other coastguard stations which will close in the next few years under the government plan are Forth, Brixham, Great Yarmouth, Liverpool, Portland, Swansea, Solent and Thames.