A Coastal Safety talk by Graham Nye
(Station Manager of the National Coastwatch Institution station at Exmouth)
Thursday 9 November at 7.30pm - Bar open!

All those of us who venture out past channel buoy no. 10 opposite Exmouth's Harbour View Café have reason to be grateful to the NCI volunteers keeping watch from the tower above the café

The National Coastwatch Institution is an entirely voluntary organisation keeping a visual watch along UK shores. Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline. Currently 50 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2000 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles, from Rossall Point in the North West, through Wales to Wearside in the North East.

Apart from Exmouth, there are stations locally at Brixham, Torquay, Teignmouth, Charmouth, Bridport and Portland Bill.

Exmouth Coastwatch Tower (just left of centre)

Whilst high technology and sophisticated systems are aids to improved safety, a computer cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat or a yachtsman or fisherman in trouble. Other vulnerable activities like diving, wind surfing and canoeing are made safer with visual surveillance.

  • Over 246,000 hours of organised coastal surveillance were completed in 2016 alone, all at no cost to the public.
  • 441 incidents were reported so far in 2017 (at the time of writing it's the start of the October half-term holiday).
  • Funding relies heavily on local support.

 (The above article includes verbatim quotes from the NCI website. Visit the site itself to learn more about the important work of this organisation.)