On 15 January, members of Her Majesty’s Coastguard across all four UK nations symbolically cast throwlines into the sea in honour of the organization’s 200th anniversary.
Throwlines, which form part of the lifesaving kit used by coastguard teams, will be cast into the waters around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at 11:00 hrs, with each team operating under the latest Covid-19 guidance for the local areas. The gesture is a symbol of the service’s dedication to saving lives at sea and on UK coastlines.
In December, HMCG began to implement its new updated search and rescue radio network which uses fibre technology. More than £175 million has been invested to upgrade the Coastguard’s national radio network across all 165 sites over the next two years. This is expected to improve and futureproof its communication infrastructure and ensuring that HMCG remains able to communicate and exchange data quickly to coordinate rescues and save lives.
Aiming to reduce the carbon footprint
In 2021, during the pandemic, coastguards supported the NHS in attending the G7 and COP26 in 2021 and are called in to support during national emergencies including flooding or supplying water to stranded drivers. The service is currently working hard to reduce its carbon footprint and is aiming to make its UK-wide fleet of vehicles electric wherever possible over the next five years.
Following trials, six electric vehicles have already been purchased, with 19 more currently being procured for use across the UK. Opportunities to electrify the fleet where operationally possible continue to be identified, with the trialling and integrating of electric models as they arrive on the market.
Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, commented: “While this milestone is an opportunity for us to look back with pride on what we’ve achieved, we have always looked to the future, and I’m proud that we continue to look for ways in which to improve and save lives. I’m proud of the commitment, the dedication and selfless sacrifice and I’m proud of how the service has developed and continues to do so.”