10th February 2019. In 2018, the National Coastwatch Institution station at Porthcawl saw a 40% increase in reported incidents making it the second busiest station in the UK for the second year running.
NCI Porthcawl opened in 2016 and today has a crew of 40 volunteer watchkeepers, operating seven days a week all year round, keeping a visual and radio watch for vessels and individuals which may be in difficulty.
In 2018, the station handled a total of 62 incidents, representing a 40 per cent increase over the 2017 figures and making it the second busiest station in the UK for the second year running. These incidents were varied in nature, ranging from stranded porpoises to full Mayday scenarios, during which the station worked closely with other organisations such as the local Coastguard rescue teams at Porthcawl and Llantwit Major, Porthcawl RNLI and the lifeguard teams.
A new CCTV system has been installed, tested and has proved to be a vital addition to the station. Porthcawl NCI now has coverage of both Newton and Rest Bays, areas which were previously difficult to monitor. In a probable ‘UK first’ for the station, secure CCTV links have been provided for both HM Coastguard and the RNLI, allowing them to monitor incidents which have been reported within those areas.
Photograph of NCI Porthcawl watchstation courtesy of The Glamorgan Gem