21st May 2021. Today marks a special occasion for the National Coastwatch Institution station at Porthcawl as it is five years to the day that the first operational watch was carried out by watchkeepers Jim, John and Lorrie.
Station Manager Phil Styles said “When we opened, the station just had the bare bones to operate with – a radio, chart, mobile phone, binoculars and , the most essential bit of kit, a kettle.We have moved on a bit over the last five years and now we have 21st century technology all fitting snugly into an 1860’s Pilot lookout just 3.5m in diameter. Five cameras cover the coastline, extending our coastline surveillance to around 15 miles. Currently we have a crew of 36 volunteers who keep the station operational 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, and during the summer months we are open 12 hours per day. Over the 5 years we have logged over 30,000 voluntary watch hours contributing to the safety of those on the sea or around the coastline at Porthcawl. We are self-funded and all our donations come from the local community to which we say ‘Diolch yn fawr iawn’
We have built up close working relationships with our partners along the coastline from the CGOC at Milford Haven, the two CRT teams at Llanwit & Porthcawl, the CG Helo team at St Athan, the South Wales Police, RNLI Lifeguards and our next door neighbours at Porthcawl RNLI who over the years have helped us in so many ways.”.
Phil added “We won’t be celebrating just yet until things ease back a little with the COVID restrictions but we are hoping later this year to have a little get together to mark this important milestone in our stations life”.