30 September 2023 The National Coastwatch Institution is delighted to recognise one of their own as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) after Ian Whalley was presented with his medal this week by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is a recognition of achievement or service in and to the community which is outstanding in its field and has delivered sustained and real impact which stands out as an example to others.

We know that Ian has certainly been an outstanding example to others with over 13 years of service as a volunteer watchkeeper at NCI Skegness and holding many other critical unpaid roles for the NCI, including Trustee, and he has rightly been awarded his MBE for services to public safety and charity after raising thousands of pounds for the charity.

Ian was presented with his MBE at a ceremony at Windsor Castle and said: “I am completely humbled by this award and still can’t believe that I have been chosen.  It was an absolutely wonderful day and as if to make this day even more special, I was personally delighted that it was Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of The National Coastwatch Institution, who presented my MBE to me. After receiving this award, I hope to continue to raise the profile of this life saving organisation the National Coastwatch Institution.”

In 2018, Mr Whalley was officer in charge when the charity’s patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, visited the NCI Skegness station in Winthorpe and since then, they have met on several happy occasions during her fact-finding visits to other NCI stations around the country during 2023.
NCI Chairman Stephen Hand, said: “Ian has served as a Trustee for many years and in that time he has been responsible for raising many thousands of pounds from corporate sponsors, opening several new stations along the east coast but still continuing to mount a weekly watch at NCI Skegness. He doesn’t slow down and even at the weekend before receiving his award, Ian spent 10 days staffing the NCI’s busy stand and meeting hundreds of visitors at the Southampton International Boat Show.  Congratulations on your award Ian.”

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Currently almost 60 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteer watchkeepers around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Filey in North Yorkshire. 

NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies offering a variety of skills and experience, and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.








The words National Coastwatch Institution and Eyes Along the Coast and the NCI logos are Registered Trademarks of NCI.


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