Volunteer Watchkeepers Required


Our Watchkeepers, both male and female, come from all walks of life and background.  Most, but by no means all, are retired.  Some have maritime experience, which is useful but not at all necessary.

Duty Watchkeepers maintain a visual and radio watch of the Eastern Solent, the approaches to Portsmouth Harbour, the Harbour itself and the visible coastline and beaches.  They observe all vessels regardless of their size or purpose and respond as necessary.  They report directly to Solent Coastguard (HMCG) and also communicate with the Harbour Control (QHM) when appropriate.

Watchkeepers are required to do two (3.5 hour) watches (shifts) per month in the winter and three in the summer. Watches only occur during daylight hours. Trainee Watchkeepers, on successful completion of a four-watch probationary period, receive further formal in-house training whilst on watch in order to become qualified.  Qualified Watchkeepers are expected to wear the NCI uniform whilst on duty.

NCI Gosport is always keen to recruit new members in order to provide adequate numbers of personnel to support a comprehensive service, to replace those who have retired and also to bring new ideas and skills to the station.

If you are interested in becoming a Watchkeeper at NCI Gosport the next step is to contact Caroline Hildrew, our Deputy Station Manager i/c Recruitment, by email [email protected].  She will be happy to answer your questions, give you information, arrange a visit to the station and organise the joining process. 

We look forward to hearing from you!                                                               

 During these COVID times, we are not able to process new applications or arrange visits to our tower. We are, however, holding a waiting list of those interested in volunteering with us so do please contact us as detailed above.




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