4th August 2019. An early Watch at NCI Hengistbury Head turned into an interesting one with an unexpected sighting.

 Here what Watch Leader Peter Ellis says about it "We spotted what looked like part of a tree about ½ mile south of the Lookout moving fairly swiftly in an easterly direction. It was difficult to gauge its size but it looked big enough to cause damage to any vessel who might hit it. Mudeford Lifeboat was out on exercise so we rang the boathouse and explained the situation with the tree having moved at a rate of knots around the Head by this time. That discussion resulted in the lifeboat being asked to liaise with us to find the said floating object. We duly conned the lifeboat to the tree which turned out to be 22 feet long! .

The lifeboat, along with a fishing boat, managed to tow the tree ashore at Hengistbury Head. Mudeford informed the Coastguard of their actions and were full of praise for us in having picked it up in the first place as in their opinion it could have been a serious hazard to any craft coming into or out of Christchurch Harbour. Well done Bryan Scarfe, Dave Parker and Mary Turner (the rest of the Watch)”.

Simon Barnett (Helm of the Mudeford Lifeboat) sent a message of thanks to NCI Hengistbury Head "Ladies & Gents, just a quick message to say a very well done spotting the debris in Christchurch Bay this morning, due to its size and being low in the water it was definitely a danger to any high speed vessel transiting Christchurch Bay. The comm’s from volunteers on watch were very clear and a credit to the station. Look forward to working with you again soon.

A spokesperson from the NCI team said “To have the support and respect of Mudeford RNLI and the local fishermen is hugely appreciated and we are only too happy to be able to assist when we can”.

(photo courtesy of Mudeford RNLI)

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Currently 56 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.








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