3rd December 2018. One of the National Coastwatch Institutions newest stations has passed an important milestone in only nine short months.
When NCI Hengistbury Head ﬁrst opened for business in March 2018 there were only ﬁve qualiﬁed Watchkeepers and four trainees, supported by a number of watchkeepers ‘on loan’ from neighbouring stations. This enabled them to operate two days a week from a temporary home in a shared seafront beach oﬃce. By 10th August this year, when the newly refurbished Lookout opened on the top of Hengistbury Head, the team had grown to sixteen homegrown qualiﬁed Watchkeepers, supported by four on loan Watchkeepers and 28 trainees, allowing the station to open three days per week. Now, less than four months later, Hengistbury Head has tipped the balance by having more qualified watchkeepers than trainees. The Station is NOW operational 6 days a week with 38 qualiﬁed Watchkeepers and 34 trainees. As a result, from 7th January 2019 NCI Hengistbury Head will be operational seven day a week
Hengistbury Head have already come a long way in a short period of time and 1st December saw 16 Watchkeepers and trainees undertake a VHF radio course with another NCI training course taking place early in January for the latest inﬂux of volunteers. It has been an exciting and successful year for NCI Hengistbury Head and everyone involved with the Station is looking forward to building on those successes and adding to the list of achievements throughout 2019.