HM Coastguard marks its 201st birthday as double century celebrations draw to a close

HM Coastguard marks its 201st birthday as double century celebrations draw to a close

HM Coastguard has been keeping people safe at the coast for 201 years today, with the birthday marking the end of the two hundredth year celebrations.
Events were held across the UK in 2022 to celebrate HM Coastguard's 200th year

The history of the coastguard – which today is one of the UK’s four frontline emergency services, operating a 24/7, 365 days a year search and rescue service to save lives at the coast and at sea – is long and varied, and can be traced back to the early 19th century.

It was 201 years ago today, on 15 January 1822, that HM Coastguard was first formed.

The anniversary signifies the end of Coastguard 200, a year-long programme of events held throughout 2022 to celebrate a double century of keeping people safe at the coast. The final event of the CG200 calendar was held last Saturday at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), with staff and volunteers alike coming together to honour those involved over the many years.

Teams based in the southeast met at The Royal Airforce Yacht Club on the River Hamble on 7 January 2023 for a formal evening – with those assembled wearing dress uniform. Approximately 120 people from the JRCC, Southampton HQ, the Technical Training team, the Infrastructure Team, the team and crew from Lee on Solent helicopter base, Police, Fire, Ambulance and our partners at the RNLI were in attendance while the Lord Mayor of Southampton and a deputy of HM Lord Lieutenant were the guests of honour.


CG200 Hampshire some of the senior leaders at the event

There was a full programme of talks and a sermon from the chaplain before moving into an evening of mingling and catching up between friends and new acquaintances.

The event also illustrated a shifting focus back to the future of search and rescue, as people mused on what the service might look like in a further 200 years.

Claire Hughes, Director of His Majesty's Coastguard, said:

It has been really special to celebrate the coastguard’s 200th birthday in 2022 alongside such distinguished colleagues and friends.

From our volunteers to full-time staff, we are all immensely proud of the coastguard’s courageous and fascinating history which has really helped to shape the incredibly important work that HM Coastguard carries out now. It has also been a wonderful reminder of our story and how we have developed into the modern, technological rescue service we are today.

While we are all extremely proud to represent a service that has been in existence for two hundred years, our focus remains on keeping the public safe at the coast now and for many years to come.

To find out more about the various Coastguard 200 events held in 2022, read What a year, what a team: Celebrating the vital volunteers that bring others home.


Share this page

Report a problem with this page

Help us improve

Don't include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.