2nd March 2018. A relic of the Cold War has finally been retired and MP Sheryll Murray helped inaugurate a £4,000 replacement.
Mrs. Murray visited the National Coastwatch Institution Station at Polruan to launch the recently acquired long-range binoculars. These powerful high-precision optics replace the old East German Border Guard binoculars used at the station. The old binoculars badly needed repairs - but replacement parts were no longer available. The cost of the new binoculars was close to £4,000, all of which was raised from donations from private individuals and local public institutions including The Cornwall Community Foundation. Watch-keeper Mike Lloyd said: ‘The new binoculars will improve the capability of the lookout as the combination of the extraordinary powerful high definition optics and the ease of use enable our volunteers to see more clearly any unusual incidents up to fifteen miles out to sea. They will help save lives.’. Two of the longest-serving watch-keepers at NCI Polruan, Tony King and Richard Hews, were also at the inauguration.
Polruan will have been open for 20 years in April, making it one of the oldest NCI stations. There are currently 47 watch-keepers, all local volunteers, who keep watch from dawn to dusk 365 days of the year. The watch-keepers at NCI Polruan maintain surveillance of the local coastline, reporting all unusual and unexpected incidents immediately to HM Coastguard.
Photograph courtesy of the Cornish Times