New recruits to help keep a safe watch over Exmouth coast
- Credit: NCI Exmouth
New recruits have joined the crew of watchkeepers at the National Coastwatch Institution in Exmouth in a bid to improve beach safety.
Four new watchkeepers, Marcia, Caroline Peters, Richard Barrett and Martyn Thompson, have been congratulated for having recently qualified to join the ranks of NCI Exmouth.
Ivor Jones station manager said “We always welcome new faces and with the expansion of our watch duties, to 12 hours a day during July and August, their qualification is very timely”.
New recruits have to undertake at least six training watches before an assessment. During this time they will learn about the overall operation of the NCI, including such things as the history of the institute, use of equipment in the lookout, logging of vessels, opening and closing procedures, chart work and health and safety procedures.
There is a highly skilled and dedicated team of trainers who will ensure each new recruit meets the mark before going forward for assessment. Watchkeepers are also required to undertake and pass a VHF radio communications course in order to use the VHF sets in the lookout. From time to time there is a requirement for all watchkeepers to have continuous or refresher training to ensure that competencies are maintained.
Watchkeepers come from all walks of life and have personal reasons for wanting to give their time as a volunteer to NCI Exmouth.
Caroline Peters said: “As a relatively new resident to Exmouth I thought it would be a good way to meet people, but also I felt that I would like to do something worthwhile for the community and this seemed like a perfect choice. I have really enjoyed my watches so far “All of our watchkeepers have one thing in common and that is a keen desire to help prevent loss of life along our shores.”
NCI Exmouth is part of the UK Search and Rescue and is a Declared Asset of HM Coastguard. The lookout can be found above The Harbour View Café on Queens Drive.
Anybody taking to the water is encouraged to contact the watchkeepers for up to date local weather conditions and radio checks on VHF channel 65 call sign Exmouth NCI.