16th October 2020. A 22-year record-high in the number of water users have been recorded taking to the sea off Exmouth in September.

 In September, Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution volunteers recorded 2,750 vessels passing their Queen’s Drive lookout – an increase of 400 from 2019 figures.

The lookout volunteers also said that the number of responses to potentially life-threatening incidents reached an all-time high, between May until September with NCI watchkeepers responding to 32 incidents involving boat users, kite surfers, paddle boarders and swimmers.

Ivor Jones, NCI Exmouth station manager, said: “Since the lifting of the Covid lockdown, Exmouth NCI has been on duty every day since the 16th of May.Because of Covid restrictions, watches are maintained by a single watchkeeper, rather than the usual two”. He added “These figures show how vital our service is to the safety of Exmouth’s water users.”

Since May, NCI Exmouth watchkeepers have logged 12,685 vessel movements, an increase of 999 compared with 13,684 for the same period last year.

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Currently 56 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.








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