Dedicated to saving the lives of people in danger at sea, Coastguards around the world are often viewed as the “protectors” of our seas. With the ability to ‘watch’ sea areas through radio monitoring and radar, coastguards respond to emergencies and requests for assistance by co-ordinating action with other sea craft.
As the role of a Coastguard varies from one country to the next, it is difficult to describe typical duties. For example, in the UK and Ireland the coastguard has no law enforcement role, whereas in the US, the Coast Guard has both law enforcement and military roles, while in others the coastguard is a civilian or volunteer organisation. Some coastguards take on the maintenance of seamarks, border control, and other services, while in times of war those same coastguards might be responsible for harbour defence, port security, naval counterintelligence and patrols.
There are no minimum educational qualifications to become a coastguard in most countries, but those considering a career with the coastguard should have a high level of physical fitness, good hearing, a clear speaking voice and a serious interest in the sea.