HER Majesty's Coastguard is celebrating its 200th birthday today, January 15. 

Rescue teams from Poole and Southbourne Coastguard will be celebrating the milestone throughout the weekend and there is a national celebratory programme airing on YouTube at 10am on Saturday. 

Poole Coastguard will mark the great event, alongside other stations across the county, with a special gesture to reflect the dedication of the service past and present by casting a throw-line into the sea at 11am.

A spokesperson from Poole Coastguard said:

"We’re always kept busy and it’s rare that we get the chance to reflect on what we do and why we do it, but today we’re taking a moment to do just that.

"During the day keep your eyes posted on social media and your local coastlines, as we have a few gems of HM Coastguard past and present for you to enjoy."

Established on January 15, 1822, originally to combat smuggling, Her Majesty’s Coastguard has in the following 200 years expanded to its current form, which involves 3,500 volunteers in 310 teams across the UK, which are supported by 10 search and rescue helicopters.

Maritime minister Robert Courts said: “Congratulations HM Coastguard on their 200-year anniversary. I am immensely proud and humbled by the continued dedication and professionalism from the staff and volunteers which ensures everyone’s safety on our shores and around our coast.

“HM Coastguard is the backbone of our maritime sector and the nation is indebted to its incredible workforce which continues to deliver an exceptional service.”

Have you ever been helped by the coastguard? Send in your thanks in the comments below.