HM COASTGUARD has come under fire for the quality of its automated weather forecast bulletins transmitted every three hours.

Most criticism comes from the far north where yachtsmen were used to the dulcet Hebridean tones of Stornoway Coastguard. However the new VHF and medium frequency service features a robotic female voice which yachtsmen are roundly describing as a ‘turn off’ and being difficult to understand.

Marine operations director of HM Coastguard, Richard Parks, said, ‘as with all trials the coastguard will monitor the effectiveness of the automated system to ensure the delivery of bulletins that support maritime safety.’

The new system was just one month into a three month trial.