Coastguard celebrates 200th anniversary

A celebration took place today (Saturday) to mark the 200th anniversary of the Coastguard service.

The event was held on board the NorthLink ferry Hrossey, providing a maritime link to the occasion.

Alex Dodge, the senior coastal operations officer in Shetland who has worked for the Coastguard over the last 21 years, said: “To be operating for 200 years is quite a milestone.

“We are an island surrounded by water and have relied on the services of the Coastguard from the start.

“Interestingly its first prime role was to stop smuggling and recruit for the Navy, but saving lives is the major reason for the service and over the years it has helped save many thousands of lives.

“This event is to celebrate that history, reflect on the past, including many rescues, and remember those who have lost and celebrate the successes.

“While the service has change, particularly with the advances in technology, the prime role remains the same – to save lives.”

SIC depute convener Bryan Peterson said: “The Coastguard has provided such an important service to a maritime community like Shetland for 200 years, so it is appropriate we celebrate their work.

“Our islands owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the staff and volunteers who have worked with the Coastguard in various capacities.”


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