Didier and Valerie first came to Shetland for a visit 30 years ago. They have returned many times since, both for holidays and work. Now they have made the move and talk to podcast host Marjolein about this, and their new business, the cafe, C’est La Vie on Commercial Street.
Coastguard marks milestone 200th birthday
From its beginnings with coastal lookouts to today’s hi-tech national network of co-ordination centres, from small localised beginnings to international players – one thing has stayed the same for two centuries, HM Coastguard seeks to search, to rescue and to save.
Two hundred years of saving lives along the UK coast and at sea, as well as co-ordinating rescues for those in distress in international waters, is being marked this year as HM Coastguard celebrates its milestone anniversary.
It was on 15th January, 1822, that HM Coastguard was formally brought into existence and has been working to keep people safe at the coast and sea ever since.
In honour of that actual birthday, coastguards across all four home nations cast throwlines as a symbol of the service’s dedication – past and present.
Throwlines, which form part of the lifesaving kit used by coastguard teams, were cast into the seas on Saturday at 11am.
In 2022, coastguard operations centres co-ordinate responses to emergency situations at the coast calling on 310 rescue teams – made up of 3,500 dedicated volunteers – and using 10 search and rescue helicopter bases, including Sumburgh.
Last month HM Coastguard began to implement its new updated search and rescue radio network which uses fibre technology.
More than £175million has been invested to upgrade the Coastguard’s national radio network across all 165 sites over the next two years.
This will improve and future proof its communication infrastructure and ensure that it remains able to communicate and exchange data quickly and reliably in order to co-ordinate rescues and save lives.
Divisional Commander for Scotland, Susan Todd, said: “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 is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to keeping people safe at sea.”
Maritime minister Robert 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.”
South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ called off again
The 2022 South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ (Smuha) festival has been called off.
It is the third year in a row that the event has had to be postponed due to Covid.
In a statement, the festival’s committee said it was with “regret” that they had decided to cancel the event.
“The well-being and enjoyment of the festival for all those participating, supporting and attending the event is our top priority and this cannot be guaranteed with the ongoing concerns and uncertainty regarding coronavirus restrictions,” it added.
The festival, which traditionally takes place on the second Friday in March, is the last of the major fire festivals to be cancelled this year.
Normal ferry service to resume after crew’s Covid isolation
The Bressay ferry service will return to a normal timetable from tomorrow (Saturday).
The ferry had been operating on a restricted schedule since last Friday due to Covid isolations among the crew.
From tomorrow, the normal winter timetable resumes.
Visit the SIC’s website to view the timetable.
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