What’s the difference between the Coastguard and the RNLI?
Our team is often asked what’s the difference between the Coastguard and the RNLI? Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG) – commonly known as the Coastguard – is part of the UK Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and are incharge of all maritime and rescue operation’s in the UK.
The Irish Coastguard (IRCG) covers the Republic of Ireland. When you dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ or make an emergency call from a VHF radio and ask for the Coastguard you will be put through to one of the operations centres which are dotted across the UK. They will co-ordinate the response and task the appropriate assets such as lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Team’s, helicopter and or other blue light services Police, Fire and Rescue; or Ambulance.
Coastguard’s in the operation’s centre can call upon Coastguard Rescue Team’s which are made up of volunteers based all around the coast, who are ready to respond 365 days a year. The teams are highly trained with a specialist skillset in water, mud and cliff rescue; advanced first aid and now trained to search for high risk vulnerable missing persons.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is an independent UK and Republic of Ireland charity. It’s a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service that is a declared asset of the Coastguard to be tasked to an incident. The RNLI is a registered charity that has been saving lives at sea since 1824. It provides an on-call 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service and a lifeguard service (available during the Summer months) along with a flood rescue capability.
Other useful links
HM Coastguard Greenock