RNLI marks HM Coastguard bicentenary with surprise presentation

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie surprised his opposite number at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), when he presented Chief Executive Brian Johnson with a framed certificate to commemorate the agency’s 200-year anniversary.


Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive, presents Brian Johnson, MCA Chief Executive, with a certificate to celebrate the agency's bicentenary.

Brian was presented with the certificate at the RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole, Dorset in recognition of the long history of collaboration between the two organisations with the common goal of saving lives at sea.

The Coastguard is the government agency responsible for tasking and coordinating rescue operations in UK waters whenever an emergency call is received, and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and coastguard teams regularly train together, further strengthening our lifesaving relationship.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘I would like to congratulate Her Majesty’s Coastguard on reaching its 200th anniversary on 15 January 2022. This is a significant milestone for an organisation that has evolved significantly over the years from its origins in the Preventive Water Guard to a modern-day world leader in maritime search and rescue.

‘For 198 years, the RNLI has been honoured to work alongside (His and) Her Majesty’s Coastguard to save lives at sea. Today we remain true to our joint cause to rescue anyone in need around the coasts of the United Kingdom; whoever they are and wherever they are from.

‘The RNLI thanks HM Coastguard and all of its people for their support and friendship, and sends best wishes for the next 200 years.’

Chief Executive at the MCA, Brian Johnson, said: ‘It was a wonderful surprise and a great honour to receive this framed certificate from our friends at the RNLI.

‘The close working relationship which we have shared for almost all of our 200-year history is very special and hugely valued.

‘As we celebrate our milestone year we’re looking forward to our continued collaboration with the RNLI as we work together to prevent the loss of life at sea and along the coast.’

The presentation took place on Thursday 27 January.

HM Coastguard will be celebrating their bicentenary throughout the year with the RNLI reaching the same milestone in 2024.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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