20th May 2022. Earlier this month, the National Coastwatch Institution station at St Donats Bay received a call from the Coastguard centre at Milford Haven alerting them to a jet ski that had broken down and was stranded just off Summerhouse Point.

The duty watchkeepers confirmed that the jet skier was visible on shore at the base of the cliffs at Summerhouse Point and that the local high tide was at 11:07. The RNLI Barry D Class lifeboat was tasked to scene. The  RNLI Porthcawl B Class confirmed NCI’s location of the casualty via VHF radio but also confirmed that the location was not accessible by foot. The Porthcawl lifeboat later confirmed they had retrieved the casualty and jet ski.

There was then a discussion regarding where to land the casualty as he requested to be landed at Barry, but the Coastguard confirmed that the Porthcawl ILB was not to tow the jet ski to Barry and to consider Llantwit or Porthcawl instead.

Using their local knowledge, the watchkeepers contacted the Coastguard to suggest St. Donat's slip as drop off point as the slipway at Llantwit on a falling tide was difficult to access with lots of submerged rocks.

So the jet skier was assisted to the slipway at St Donat's Bay and UWC Atlantic College approved access to the slip for the recovery of the jet ski. Another example of how the local knowledge of our watchkeepers can be invaluable.

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Currently almost 60 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