26th October 2021. The Liberian registered oil tanker the Chem Alya was observed running aground close to the Needles National Coastwatch Institution station.

The 144.8 meter-long tanker, had left Southampton Water, after nearly three days in port on Monday before running aground off the The Needles, 5.21 nautical miles southwest of Yarmouth. The tanker is believed to have veered off fairway and became wedged on a shingle bank off the Isle of Wight, but no damage was reported.

The NCI Needles National Coastwatch Institution reported that they believed the tanker is not in danger and would attempt to refloat on the next high tide. In the meanwhile, the volunteer watchkeepers would maintain a visual watch on the vessel.

The tanker has been anchored off Thorness Bay, since being refloated at high water overnight. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it will be berthed for an inspection by surveyors and an MCA spokeswoman said the vessel's hull remained sound "there is no pollution, no ingress of water and it has propulsion and power".


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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
[email protected]


0845 460 1202
[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB