A new direction for HM Coastguard


HM Coastguard (HMCG) is one of the UK’s four emergency services and tasked Creode to design and build their first-ever independent website. With a remit to push the boundaries of the UK Government’s Design Framework, ambitions for the site included providing clear messaging and updates to the public, whilst increasing brand awareness. The website had to have its own personality but also stay connected to the public sector, while being accessible, user-friendly, and future-proof.

  • Educate the public on HM Coastguard services and role whilst providing a robust recruitment platform.
  • Make it clear people should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in coastal emergencies.
  • Be search engine optimised and accessible to Level AA of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  • Provide an easy-to-use CMS for Coastguard admins and be future-proof to enable updates over the coming years.
Group 5

It became clear that the audience was potentially everyone—from people living or working at the coast to day-trippers, holiday-makers and niche audiences, such as teachers responsible for school trip safety, as well as people who may consider volunteering or pursuing a career with HM Coastguard.


Not only were many people unaware that HM Coastguard was a 999 emergency service, but also there were many more who had no idea of the range of services provided. This thought led us to create the ‘Your Coastguard’ concept, which tells many people’s true stories of when and why they needed The Coastguard’s help in compelling ways, including video and infographics.

Group 3

As a public service, HM Coastguard information needs to be accessible to everyone, even more so when access to it can be life-saving. So, a website compliant with accessibility standards, tested both automatically and manually, was a must. Being in line with the latest UK Gov accessibility guidelines, Creode ensured:

  • Clear and descriptive headings for better navigation
  • Proper labelling in forms and buttons to assist their completion
  • Right colour contrasts to increase readability
  • Captions or transcripts for multimedia
  • Alt texts for images
  • Keyboard accessibility
  • Screen reader compatibility


Our goal was to bring HM Coastguard’s work to life and help the brand feel more approachable. That’s why we offered them a way in—a visual representation of the service for them to understand and familiarise with. How? By recreating five different rescue scenarios—using both models and 16 real-life coastguards— and shooting in three different locations around Wales.


Creode recommended using Drupal 9, in partnership with LocalGov Drupal, a Drupal configuration to meet the needs of public sector organisations, especially around accessibility and future security. The first iteration of the site is live with plans to increase the number of case studies, further increase the usability of the recruitment platform and hold regular site optimisation sessions in partnership with our client while there is an ongoing point of contact for users to report any accessibility concerns or provide further assistance.

CG Profile Mobile Mockup
CG Profile Mobile Mockup 2
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