7th May 2021. The idea of establishing a National Coastwatch Institution watch station at St Donat's Bay on the South Wales coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel, was first discussed in October 2019 as part of the Atlantic College Sea Front development project. Atlantic College had kindly agreed to completely renovate the two existing towers along the sea wall with one to be used as a fully operational NCI lookout and the other to be used as a dedicated training facility. Since then, discussions and site visits have taken place between the NCI and the college with approval for the project being agreed by both groups in Spring 2020.
Both parties insisted that, in common with NCI stations nationally, the lookout at St Donat's Bay will be managed by volunteers from the local community, with additional support provided by the staff at the college. Students from the college will also have the opportunity to join NCI as Cadets and fully participate in watchkeeping activities. As part of the NCI, St Donats Bay will report to the local Coast Guard Operations Centre at Milford Haven.
Unfortunately, the project has been unavoidably delayed by the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, and Atlantic College have agreed to allow an NCI mobile unit to be temporarily deployed until the work on the permanent lookout is completed. This has allowed the St Donats Bay team, under Station Manager Jo Schup, to start their first training watches this weekend. The neighbouring South Wales stations are helping with these watches which are running Friday to Monday between 10:00 hrs and 18:00 hrs.