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Coastguard staff and volunteers past and present are this week [Monday 13-Friday 17 June] joining together in the Hebrides to mark 200 years of keeping people safe in some of the most remote locations in the UK.

It’s part of the bicentenary celebrations for Her Majesty’s Coastguard, recognising the unique contribution that each area of the UK has made to the service.

The tour will see each of the 10 rescue coordination centres ‘take a moment’ to celebrate 200 years of their local communities supporting – and working or volunteering for – HM Coastguard.

HM Coastguard has been serving island communities since the 19th Century.

Two smaller events will be held to mark the significant event – and ensure everyone who wants to attend will be able to – in Lochaber on Monday (13 June) and Skye on Tuesday (14 June) before the main event on Friday (17 June). The main events  at Stornoway Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on the Friday to celebrate all those who have worked and volunteered tirelessly for HM Coastguard during that history.

Officers of HM Coastguard and the RNLI will attend the celebratory day, alongside police, the fire service, ambulance service and local dignitaries.

HM Coastguard Divisional Commander for the Hebrides Bill Speirs said: “We are so proud to be part of an organisation whose mission it is to search and rescue – we are all proud to work with each other and I think I can speak for us all to say that we are aware of the weight of history and the pride that brings.

“HM Coastguard has rescued countless lives in two hundred years, and everyone we bring home adds to that wonderful tally further.

“This is a true opportunity to celebrate everyone that has been a part of making the service what it is, from the past to the present and into the future. I hope everyone can take a moment to appreciate their own achievements and take pride in our service.”