22nd November 2017. Web-accessible cameras overlooking The Needles and Scatchells Bay have been officially commissioned this week following a visit to The Needles National Coastwatch Station by the High Sheriff for the Isle of Wight, Ben Rouse.
Working on a 4G connection, one of the cameras overlooks the channel between The Needles lighthouse and Bridge Buoy and will now allow mariners to see the current sea state. The second camera overlooks Scratchells Bay, allowing remote monitoring of the beach. The two cameras have been donated by Vision-Link Ltd and the data connection charges are being covered by the Needles Pleasure Cruises. Currently the views are refreshed every 30 minutes while the system beds in but will eventually refresh every 5 minutes.
Tony Stables, the Station Manager for NCI Needles said “Many thanks to the High Sherriff for his visit and the commissioning of these cameras, allowing us to provide greater safety to mariners and immense thanks to Vision-Link for the donation of the cameras and to Peter Lemonius of Needles Pleasure Cruises for donating the annual running costs”
Situated 400ft up in the lookout tower above The Needles, the volunteer watchkeepers of the National Coastwatch Institution scan the waters surrounding The Needles paying particular attention to vulnerable people and craft such as kayaks, jet skis, leisure or commercial fishing boats and all sizes of sail and motor vessels.This year alone, Needles NCI have helped with more than 20 serious incidents. The continued operation of Needles NCI is completely reliant on public donation.
Photograph courtesy of the Island Echo.