15th November 2025. A yachtsman was rescued by lifeboat crews after losing his mast, thanks to the volunteer watchkeepers at NCI Swanage.

The National Coastwatch Institution station at Peveril Point in Swanage contacted HM Coastguard when they spotted a small yacht that appeared to be in distress. A small outboard motor was hung on the stern but in the raised position. The lone sailor was waving his arms but at no one in particular. The yacht was drifting south west on an ebbing tide and with a following wind. The yacht would have drifted to a position that would be out of sight in gathering dusk to both Swanage and NCI St Albans Head. The Watchkeepers contacted Solent HMCG and shortly afterwards the Swanage AWLB was tasked to the yacht. The Watchkeepers conned the AWLB onto the casualty and it was towed to Poole Harbour. NCI Swanage then received a congratulatory phone call later in the day from Solent Coastguard.

An RNLI spokesperson said: “The volunteer crew mustered and launched, coming alongside the dis-masted yacht less than 10 minutes later. The solo sailor on board explained that he had lost the mast several hours earlier, had motored to try to make land, but his outboard had also failed. The casualty was taken on board the lifeboat while two crew members boarded the small yacht to establish a tow to Poole Harbour."

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Currently 57 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
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0845 460 1202
[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB