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HM Coastguard teams cast throwlines to celebrate service’s 200th anniversary

HM Coastguard teams have cast throwlines into the sea to celebrate the service’s 200th anniversary of saving lives at sea.

All four home nations cast throwlines, one of the lifesaving tools used by coastguard teams, into the sea at 11am on Saturday as a symbol of the service’s dedication.

Tom Wright, coastal operations area commander, said: “This anniversary is a huge milestone for all of us at HM Coastguard. We wanted to mark the occasion in a way which is unique to us and which demonstrates our commitment to keeping people safe at sea. The symbolic casting of throwlines across the UK today is a reflection of that commitment.”

Established on 15 January 1822, HM Coastguard was initially created to prevent smuggling.

Today, the Coastguard works with more than 3,500 volunteers around the UK and 10 search and rescue helicopter bases to rescue those in danger on the coast and at sea.

It coordinated more than 36,000 incidents in 2021, making it the service’s busiest year on record.

The committed Coastguard staff and volunteers have been praised for their contributions which enable 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 throughout two centuries have continued to strive to keep people safe at the coast and out at sea.

Ms Hughes added: “We always have and always will respond to those in distress.”

Maritime minister Robert Courts commended HM Coastguard on its landmark anniversary and “continued dedication and professionalism” to ensure the safety of others.

Mr Courts said: “HM Coastguard is the backbone of our maritime sector and the nation is indebted to its incredible workforce which continues to deliver an exceptional service.”

More than £175m has been invested to upgrade the Coastguard’s national radio network across all 165 sites over the next two years. 

In December, HM Coastguard began to implement an updated search and rescue radio network which uses fibre technology.

It also working to make its fleet electric over the next five years as part of plans to reduce its carbon footprint.



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