HM Coast Guard teams have thrown castelines into the sea to celebrate the service’s 200th anniversary to save lives at sea.
All four home nations throw castelines, one of the lifesaving tools used by coastguards, into the sea at 6 p.m. 11 on Saturday as a symbol of the service’s dedication.
Tom Wright, Head of Coastal Operations, said: “This anniversary is a major milestone for all of us at HM Coastguard. We wanted to mark the occasion in a way that is unique to us and that demonstrates our commitment to keeping people safe at sea. “The symbolic casting of cast lines across Britain today is a reflection of this commitment.”
HM Coastguard was established on January 15, 1822 and was originally established to prevent smuggling.
Today, the Coast Guard works with more than 3,500 volunteers around the UK and 10 search and rescue helicopter bases to rescue those at risk on the coast and at sea.
It coordinated more than 36,000 incidents in 2021, which it did the busiest year of the service ever.
The dedicated coastguard staff and volunteers have been praised for their contribution, enabling the service to operate 24/7 365 days a year.
Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, said: “When you look at how we started and where we are now, it’s easy to celebrate the innovation and development that can be seen throughout the service. And yet we are far more proud of the people, the volunteers and the staff, who for two centuries have continued to strive to keep people safe on the coast and out at sea.
Mrs Hughes added: “We always have and will always respond to those in need.”
Maritime Minister Robert Courts praised HM Coastguard for its landmark anniversary and “continued dedication and professionalism” to ensure the safety of others.
Courts said: “HM Coastguard is the backbone of our maritime sector and the nation is indebted to its incredible workforce, which continues to provide exceptional service.”
More than £ 175 million has been invested in upgrading the Coast Guard’s national radio network across all 165 locations over the next two years.
In December, HM Coastguard began implementing an updated search and rescue radio using fiber technology.
It is also working on making its fleet electric over the next five years as part of plans to reduce its CO2 footprint.