Vandals target vital equipment used by coastwatch team
- Credit: Hugh Desouza
National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) Exmouth has been hit by mindless vandals who have damaged vital life-saving equipment.
The damage occurred on Friday 8th October sometime after watchkeepers had left for the evening.
Station manager Ivor Jones said: "The new flagpole on Coastwatch House was broken in half and the radio mast that would relay any mayday calls from marine traffic had also been interfered with. Missed transmissions could put lives at risk."
This is the second incident of damage to life saving equipment in the last month. Recently the defibrillator out side the beach pub was stolen.
CCTV is being looked at to try to identify the culprits but if anyone has any information on this incident then please contact Ivor Jones at email@example.com or go directly to the police using the 101 number. They have a record of the incident.
NCI Exmouth was established in 1998 and is part of the region’s search-and-rescue capability.
It is part of the National Coastwatch Institution that celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. It was the UK’s second busiest station in 2020.
NCI Exmouth’s Queen’s Drive lookout is manned by some 60 volunteer watchkeepers. As well as listening out for Mayday calls, they help mariners by providing them with the facility to check that their radio is working before they commence a journey. It operates on VHF Channel 65, with the call sign ‘Exmouth NCI’. It also provides reports of in-shore weather conditions.
NCI Exmouth is on watch every day. In an emergency, officers are on-call outside of these hours.