05/07/2012 08:15 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Ceremony to mark closure of Newfoundland and Labrador rescue centre

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A citizens's group in Newfoundland has organized a ceremony to mark the closure of the marine rescue centre in St. John's.

The centre's last day of operation is today.

The Mayday Coalition has planned a rally at the small boat basin in St. John's Harbour.

The federal government announced the closure last June, saying it would not affect safety.

Distress calls that used to be handled in St. John's are now being routed to Halifax.

The Canadian Coast Guard says the rescue sub-centre in St. John's handled an average of 500 incidents annually.