Declared Facility Status


The Portscatho Branch of the National Coastwatch Institution have passed their assessment allowing them to become a ‘Declared Facility Status’ for H.M. Coastguard’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Pendennis, Falmouth, and can now be officially recognised as part of the Maritime Search and Rescue emergency services. 


                                     J Morgan, P Clements, P Cashell


The NCI Portscatho watch-keepers were assessed in April 2018. They were lead by their Station Manager Sue O'Donovan. The NCI Assessor Peter Clements, from NCI Bass Point, wasw there to put the volunteer watchkeepers through a number of tests and interviews to assess their capabilities of assisting the Coastguard in their Search and Rescue operations. The Assessor was impressed with the overall performance of the Watchkeepers, who successfully completed the rigorous assessment on behalf of the Station, enabling it to achieve Declared Facility Status. This station has now held DFS since 2008.  NCI Portscatho opened in 2001, occupying the old H.M. Coastguard lookout at Pednvadan Point, and is one of 13 operational stations around the Cornish coast.  Each station is manned and maintained by fully trained volunteers who keep a daylight visual watch around the coast providing a vital link with the emergency services in the event of accidents at sea, or on the beaches and cliff-faces or along the coastal footpath. The Station at Portscatho is manned presently from Easter to the end of October.

Anyone interested in becoming an NCI volunteer Watch-keeper should contact the current Station Manager, Sue O'Donovan on 01872 501670


Currently 56 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2500 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Rossall  Point 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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