20th September 2019. The Needles 'guardian angels' have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI).
The volunteers, who have been maintained a watch over the coast at Alum Bay for the last seven years, held a tea party last Saturday attended by the Isle of Wight Lord Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon. Around 70 volunteers keep watch at the station 365 days a year, during daylight hours.
Station manager Tony Stables said: "It was the NCI National Day and around 50 of our volunteers and partners attended the tea party. We celebrated with cake and were joined by any walkers and visitors who passed by, so it made for a lovely afternoon. We are proud to serve all those who use the waters of the Western Solent, and those who walk and visit the Needles headland, by providing a continuous daytime visual watch and responding to those in difficulty. Indeed, we have been described as 'the guardian angels on the cliffs.'"
Nationally, last year, the NCI was involved in 487 incidents, of which 20 involved Needles watchkeepers.
(Article courtesy of the Isle of Wight County Press)