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Emergency services / Coastguard teams celebrate 200 years of saving lives at sea


Volunteer teams from Shetland and Orkney mark the 200th birthday of HM Coastguard. Video supplied by Orkney & Shetland Coastguard

COASTGUARD teams ups and down the country have marked the 200th anniversary of the organisation that started in the early 19th century with coastal lookouts and small localised beginnings.

HM Coastguard was formally brought into existence on 15 January 1822 and has been working to keep people safe at the coast and sea ever since.

In Shetland, volunteer teams from across the isles joined in in the celebrations on Saturday by casting throwlines as a symbol of the services dedication.

Local coastal operations area commander Dave Sweeney said the 200tt birthday was “a fantastic milestone to reach as an organisation”.

He added: “Shetland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, and the eight Coastguard rescue teams throughout the isles has provided, not just the maritime community, but Shetland community as a whole, a localised service in which the public know they can rely on.

“From routine medivacs, rescues at sea and some dramatic cliff rescues, we are proud to serve our community and look forward to doing so for the next 200 years.

“It is fitting that we celebrate 200 years of HM Coastguard in a way unique to us, through a demonstration of a vital piece of safety equipment used by our teams.”

Divisional commander for Scotland Susan Todd added: “As an emergency service HM Coastguard is always busy and it’s rare that we get the chance to reflect on how far we have come.

“200 years of saving lives at sea and at the coast is truly something to be proud of. The symbolic casting of throwlines across the UK today is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to keeping people safe at sea.”