Logging and identifying vessels is an essential part of the role of an NCI Watchkeeper. It enables us to respond quickly and with confidence when a vessel gets into trouble or we receive a call from the Coastguard asking for information about a particular vessel. Watchkeepers typically log each year 7000-8000 vessels of all shapes and sizes, from warships to rowng boats.
Incidents are logged and classified either as 'nationally reported', which generally means an incident involving the Coastguard, or 'locally reported' for less significant incidents such as calling an ambulance in a non-life-threatening situation.
Watchkeepers recorded 47 incidents since January 2015 of which 7 are recorded in 2020.
Incident Reports (September 2020 - July 2019)
19th September 2020
Teignmouth NCI were contacted by Solent Coastguard to ascertain if we had visual on a yacht thought to be in difficulties. We advised that a watch was already being maintained on her and that, although she was in rough water on a strong outgoing tide, she was making progress into harbour. We were thanked by Solent and no further action was needed.
12th August 2020
At 13:45 hrs we received a phone call from a member of the public concerned over the safety of 5 children swimming close to the harbour entrance. They were near the green buoy in a strong outgoing tide. HMCG contacted but before they could deploy any rescue assets they received a direct call advising them that the children had been recovered to land with assistance from a paddle boarder.
30th July 2020
Teign C, our local dredger, called our lookout this afternoon reporting a large silver object floating in the water. Our watchkeeper contacted RNLI beach lifeguards advising of object at 126 degrees from our lookout. RNLI surf rescue launched their jet ski and located the object. Thankfully, it turned out to be a large silver balloon, and not a capsized inflatable as was feared. Great team work by all concerned.
17th July 2020
A jet ski had broken down off Red Rock. The rider called Teignmouth NCI and our watchkeeper took the details and advised that he would contact HMCG. The message was relayed to HMCG who tasked Exmouth lifeboat to attend. They arrived on scene and commenced a tow towards the Parson and Clerk rocks. The tow was then taken over by Teignmouth Lifeboat who completed the tow into Teignmouth.
16th July 2020
A member of the public observed juveniles 'tomb-stoning' off Sprey Point and informed Teignmouth NCI. HMCG were alerted and RNLI beach life guards tasked to deploy Surf Rescue. They attended the incident on their jet skis. Ten persons were involved but no injuries sustained and the beach lifeguards were stood down.
12th July 2020
Teignmouth NCI were called into action on Sunday when the skipper of a motor launch, anchored at Sprey Point, couldn't start his engine and contacted us by radio on Ch 65. The watchkeeper immediately called HMCG but, during this call, the skipper radioed again and advised that the engine had now started and all was well. HMCG took no action as the situation was resolved. There were 5 people on board including 3 children who all returned safely to harbour.
23rd Feb 2020
Teignmouth NCI worked with HMCG on Sunday when a member of the public phoned our NCI lookout to report that he was stuck on Maidencombe beach as his dog wouldn’t walk up the steep cliff face path at Red Rock Lane. Watchkeepers alerted Solent Coastguard and both the Teignmouth ILB and the Torbay and Teignmouth Coastguard Land Team were tasked to assist. The gentleman, and his dog, were picked up by the ILB and taken to Babbacombe Pier where they were landed and met by the land team. Watchkeepers remained in contact with Solent throughout relaying messages from the casualty’s mobile phone.
10th Nov 2019
At 10:00am on Sunday 10th November 2019, watchkeepers spotted a swimmer and surfboarder out by the outfall buoy. Concerned that they were a long way offshore, watchkeepers kept a close eye on them and informed the coastguard of their concerns. Whilst maintaining visual contact on them, it became clear that they were making their way back to shore and the swimmer was met on the beach at 11am and taken back to the watchtower to warm up. Attempts to contact the surfboarder by phone were then made. The surfboarder was eventually able to make his own way back to the beach and the coastguard were informed that both persons were safe.
3rd Oct 2019
At 13:03 on Wednesday 3rd October 2019, a 28ft Motor Cruiser contacted Solent Coastguard to report an engine failure. Adrift in 4 to 5 metre waves, Solent Coastguard issued a Pan Pan alert asking if there was any vessel in the vicinity that could provide a tow. At 13:32, Watchkeepers informed the coastguard that they had visual on the vessel. Teignmouth lifeboat was launched and by 13:50 they had the vessel in tow. In light of the sea conditions, Torbay lifeboat was launched at 14:05 to assist with the rescue and the boat was safely towed into harbour.
17th July 2019
At 14:09 hrs on Wednesday 17th July, Watchkeepers sighted a small open fishing boat aground on Spratt Sands. Contacted Solent Coastguard to report boat aground and rolling in the waves. A local charter boat came to assists but unable to approach close enough to secure a line on board. Teignmouth Lifeboat assistance was requested, the fishing boat crew were taken off and the boat towed off the sands. The lifeboat returned to the harbour with the crew and towing the boat.
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