22nd October 2020. On Saturday, NCI Felixstowe duty watchkeepers Neil and Nick overheard a yacht reporting an object floating in the sea - a possible hazard to vessels

 Plotting the yachts position by radar, they were able to locate the large unidentifiable floating object about 2 miles out to sea. They reported their sightings to HM Coastguard Dover, who tasked Harwich Vessel Traffic Service to send a vessel to investigate. The pilot vessel St Cuthbert located what turned out to be an 8m tree which had drifted south and was about to enter the main channel where it would have been an imminent danger to vessels. The tree was taken under tow and landed at Harwich harbour.

This was a perfect example of NCI Felixstowe, HM Coastguard Dover and Harwich VTS working together to maintain safety. Dover Coastguard called back later that day to thank NCI Felixstowe for their assistance. As Nick (one of the duty watchkeepers on Saturday) said “This incident demonstrated the necessity to listen to everything on the radios”.


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Currently 57 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Hornsea in the East Riding of 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.

Contact Details

0300 111 1202
[email protected]


0845 460 1202
[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB