14th September 2019. Today the National Coastwatch Institution celebrates National Coastwatch Day which this year coincides with the charities 25th Anniversary.
During the late 1970’s and 80’s the number of visual watch coastguard stations around the coast of Britain were being steadily reduced until by the 1990’s only a very few remained open. When in 1994 two Cornish fishermen lost their lives in a tragic accident which occurred not far from an old, abandoned Coastguard Station on the Lizard peninsula, a small group of local people determined to re-open the station at Bass Point. When this station re-opened 1994 the National Coastwatch Institution was born.
From that single station with a handful of volunteers, the charity has grown dramatically and now boasts 56 operational stations manned by more than 2,500 volunteers around the coast of England and Wales stretching from Rossall Point near Fleetwood in the north-west, through Wales, to Hornsea in Yorkshire on the north-east coast.
Many stations are holding special events and activities over the weekend to celebrate the first quarter century of this national charity. The NCI exhibition trailer is at the Southampton Boat Show and all of our 56 stations will be open with our volunteer watchkeepers keeping a lookout and providing the ‘Eyes along the Coast’. So please visit your local NCI station and show your support for the volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institution. You will be made most welcome and the watchkeepers will be happy to show you around and explain our role in the Search & Rescue community.
The photograph shows the volunteer watchkeepers at NCI Newhaven who formed a formed the number 25 to celebrate our anniversary along with the High Sheriff of East Sussex and her husband,