A service most maritime nations operate to patrol and guard their coastlines, to prevent smuggling, and to supervise traffic separation schemes and coastal shipping. In 1822 a British organization, known as the Coast Guard, was formed to prevent smuggling. After a period under the Admiralty it became, in 1925, an independent service, as Her Majesty's (HM) Coastguard, and is now part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. HM Coastguard's specific responsibility is coordinating and helping mount SAR (search and rescue) operations, both at sea and on the coastline, with the help of other lifesaving organizations, Ministry of Defence helicopters, and any other of the emergency services they need to call on. See also national coastwatch institution; us coast guard.Webb, W., Coastguard (1975).
Subjects: Maritime History.