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Who Are We
The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) 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.
NCI was established in 1994, following the closure of around 300 small Coast Guard stations, as a consequence of government spending cuts. 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.
While 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, and everyone’s nightmare, the adventorous child drifting out to sea in a rubber ring. All vulnerable activities like canoeing, diving, wind-surfing, are made safer by visual surveillance.
NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch during poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies, offering a variety of skills and experience and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.
The Rossall Point station was opened in 2008 in the old Coast Guard station. It required a complete overhaul, but was still quite primitive. It had no running water and Perspex windows, which needed to be open whilst on watch, because telescopes and binoculars gave a blurred image through the plastic.
Rossall Point station has approximately 40 members and we are actively seeking further recruits. Training evenings are arranged on Wednesdays at the Nautical College Fleetwood. Trainees also stand watches at the Tower with experienced Watchkeepers.
Whilst the station is assessed annually and participates in rescue exercises with both the Coast Guard and the RNLI, it is all very relaxed and informal.
Lookout Tel: 01253 870618
10.00 to 18.00 Summer
10.00 to 16.00 Winter
Latitude 53.55.33 N
Longitude 03.02. 69 W
OS Grid Reference SD314479
Marine VHF Channel 65
Call Sign RossallPoint NCI