Exmouth Business Awards 2018: Exmouth NCI Coastwatch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 April 2018

Exmouth Business Awards 2017. Best Enterprise / Charity : NCI Coastwatch. Picture: John Thorogood

Exmouth Business Awards 2017. Best Enterprise / Charity : NCI Coastwatch. Picture: John Thorogood

John Thorogood

As a voluntary service saving lives at sea, Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) said last year’s award-win brought a welcome increase in awareness of their important work.

The organisation took home the award for Social Enterprise/Charity of the Year, at the 2017 Exmouth Business Awards.

Exmouth NCI is based at their lookout above the Harbour View Café, on Queen’s Drive.

From here watchkeepers on duty look and listen for all waterborne craft in distress and interact with HM Coastguard and RNLI to effect rescues.

A spokesman for the service said: “When it comes to sea safety, there is simply no substitute for sharp eyes that can spot a flare from a dismasted yacht, a fishing boat with engine failure, a capsized dinghy, a struggling kite surfer, or a kayaker in difficulty.

“This is just an example of what we look out for every day – all run by volunteers, at no cost to the public.”

With ‘Declared Facility Status’, approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Exmouth NCI plays a full part in UK Search and Rescue services.

Its 75 volunteer watchkeepers are busier than ever, with more incidents to deal with and the profile-raising role of winning the award has resulted in a welcome increase in support.

Their spokesman said: “Winning the award last year certainly has raised public awareness of our important voluntary role within the community both for locals and visitors alike.

“Additionally, we have more people wishing to join our voluntary service in providing the ‘eyes and ears along the coast’ from Berry Head to Straight Point across Lyme Bay.

Exmouth NCI was ‘delighted’ to win the award last year and hopes to be nominated again, but also believes the event promotes wider benefits.

“(The awards) are excellent way in which the town’s business can display the way Exmouth has a vibrant and developing community.

“They provide excellent community spirit and team work which engenders a support network for Exmouth for the good of the town, for both local residents and visitors.”

Their spokesman said other hopefuls with the award for Social Enterprise/Charity of the Year in their sights should aim to present their application to judges ‘in a compelling and positive tone’.

Read next: More stories in our build-up to the Exmouth Business Awards 2018

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