Image with helicopter

About us

About us

To search, to rescue, to save

His Majesty's Coastguard is one of the UK’s front line 999 services.

As the UK’s national maritime emergency service, we're available to help those in distress around our coastline or at sea 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

HM Coastguard is truly part of coastal communities, with over 300 coastguard rescue teams around the UK coast made up of around 3,500 volunteers. In their roles as coastguard rescue officers, our local volunteers respond to many types of incidents, including cliff and mud rescues.

As well as our volunteers, HM Coastguard has over 400 highly trained staff who provide a wide range of services including responding to over 36,000 incidents each year.

Our Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) are spread across the UK, from Falmouth to Shetland - covering over 11,000 miles of coastline. 

As the tasking authority we call on the support of a range of assets including independent and RNLI lifeboats, HM Coastguard rescue teams, helicopters and other aircraft support.

In addition to our search and rescue role, we also respond to pollution events, monitor vessel movement in UK waters and even collect wreck, royal fish and other salvage on behalf of His Majesty The King.

A graphic showing stats about HM Coastguard and the UK coast


Safer lives, safer ships, cleaner seas

HM Coastguard is part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). 

The MCA produces legislation, guidance and certification to ships and seafarers. 

Through our survey and inspection regime, we enforce standards for ship safety, security, pollution prevention and seafarer health, safety and welfare. 

We promote maritime standards, encourage economic growth and minimise the maritime sector’s environmental impact.

We work together as one agency to prevent the loss of life on the coast and at sea, ensure the safety of the maritime environment and of those working on ships in the UK and on UK flagged vessels.




  • Bev Allen headshot
    Bev Allen
    MRCC Humber Commander
    31 years of service

    Let’s meet our Coastguard team

    What’s your career progression with HM Coastguard been like?
    I started part-time as a volunteer in the operations room 30 years ago. I then had the opportunity to apply full time as a Coastguard Watch Assistant, and I've progressed up through each of the grades as I've gone.

    What does your job involve?
    There’s such a wide variety, whether it be city flooding, fires on ferries or downed aircrafts, you just never know what to expect. You could be involved with anything, literally anything!

  • Dave Robinson
    Dave Robinson
    Deputy Station Officer
    19 years of service

    Let’s meet our Coastguard team

    What made you want to become a coastguard?
    The opportunity to help people in trouble and give a little bit back to the community. It’s greatly rewarding and you never know what kind of job you’re going to be turning up at!

    What do you see for the future of HM Coastguard?
    The equipment has advanced significantly since I started. Now we’ve got to keep up with mud search, water search and more, so you’ve got to keep advancing. I don’t know how many years I’ve got left in the coastguard but I’ll keep doing it while I enjoy it!

  • Chloe in comms room
    Chloe Mainprize
    Maritime Operations Officer
    3 years of service

    Let’s meet our Coastguard team

    Why did you decide to join?
    My parents are part of the voluntary side, they saw a vacancy and said “I think you should do it” and it’s honestly the best thing I've ever done. I really enjoy it. There isn’t a day that I come in and have a rubbish day.

    Are there any jobs you’ve been involved in which particularly stand out?
    One job was a fighter jet that had unfortunately crashed into the North Sea. We dealt with all the coordination for the incident. That's one that will probably stick with me because it was a big job and it’s not something that happens every day.

  • Kev Paterson stood in front of two Coastguard Rescue Vehicles
    Kevin Paterson
    Station Officer
    14 years of service

    Let’s meet our Coastguard team

    What does an average day in your role look like?
    Being the Station Officer of a team is what you make it. Day to day it’s about ensuring the team remains operational, but for me it’s so much more – it’s about training and developing, promoting coastal and water safety, building relationships and providing support.

    What do you enjoy most?
    The most enjoyable part of the role is seeing the people around you grow and develop both personally and professionally. At times we literally have each other’s lives in our hands so there’s a huge sense of camaraderie.

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