News (Aug 2018 - Apr 2017)
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It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing on Tuesday July 31st of my webmaster colleague Dave Pickman.
I started the Teigmouth Coastwatch website in 2014 and was absolutely delighted when Dave joined as a watchkeeper later that year and very quickly joined me to form “the webmaster team”.
Dave was a professional programmer and although he had never been involved in websites, his skills rapidly overtook my amateur efforts. Without Dave’s input the website would be a pale shadow of what it is today.
I will try to keep the flame burning but it is a big task and I will sorely miss Dave’s input.
Leading environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has this week announced that Teignmouth Town Beach and Shaldon’s Ness Cove have retained their Seaside Awards for 2018.
The beach side information boards proudly display the Seaside Award notice and the Bathing Water Quality status of Excellent. This is monitored by the Environment Agency from May through September.
Teignbridge’s beaches have once again been recognised as being amongst the best in the UK as our neighbour Dawlish Warren celebrates a 20th consecutive year of receiving the coveted Blue Flag award.
A seal pup was spotted on the beach below the Lookout and appeared to be in trouble. The duty Watchkeepers reported this and a member of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue) arrived to assess the situation.
The pup had sought shelter against the sea wall but with a rapidly rising tide and large waves crashing on the beach it was not in a good position. The rescuer called for a colleague to bring a cage to remove the pup but whilst waiting a member of the public brought a dumpy bag and with help captured the seal and carried it off the beach.
The cage later arrived and the seal was transferred to it. It was taken by car to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, West Hatch, Taunton.
Declared Facility Status Assessment
Sunday October 1st was a very successful day at Teignmouth NCI having been assessed for and retained our DFS with some positive comments from the assessor.
The DFS (Declared Facility Status) is required by HM Coastguard for an NCI Station to be fully integrated with the UK Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation.
A rescue exercise was conducted for the assessment in which Teignmouth Lifeboat participated. The sea conditions for this were 'choppy' to say the least.
The Lifeboat dropped a 'Dead Fred' mannequin on four occasions, approximately 0.75 miles off shore. The Lifeboat having moved away, NCI Watchkeepers were required to SPOT the 'casualty', PLOT its position and then guide the Lifeboat by radio to recover the 'casualty'.
Spotting the 'casualty' and then maintaining it in sight in the prevailing sea conditions helped by the elevated position of our Lookout demonstrates how valuable the NCI can be in this type of rescue.
A massive thank you to Teignmouth Lifeboat for its support and contributions.
All in all an excellent day - well done Teignmouth NCI.
Search and Rescue Exercise
On the evening of Thursday 28th September we ran a Search and Rescue Exercise using VHF Channel 65. Five watchkeepers from Teignmouth NCI worked with TS Canonteign who with their RIB, dropped a man-overboard-mannikin on 5 occasions, 1.5 miles offshore. They were then guided by radio instructions from NCI onto the casualty for retrieval.
Two Sea Cadets were hosted in the NCI Lookout and observed the 5 separate procedures.
This proved a very useful exercise for both parties.
Grateful thanks to TS Canonteign for their involvement.
Battle of Britain Commemoration
Members of Teignmouth NCI attended the Wreath Laying Ceremony for the Battle of Britain Commemoration at the War Memorial, Teignmouth, organised by Mick Flory of RAFA.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor, our MP, local dignatories, cadets from the Royal Air Force and TS Canonteign.
Following a meeting with a Watchkeeper at the Teignmouth Council BBQ, the mayor expressed an interest in visiting the Lookout.
He was invited and accepted an invitation to a Saturday 'D' Watch that was one of those wet and windy evenings.
He came back with mayoress Nikki on 31 August, a much better evening, when they were introduced to our kit and generally appreciated our facility.
Picture shows Paul & Nikki with Teignmouth NCI Station Manager Eddy Stephenson.
Visit to HM Coastguard National Maritime Operations Centre - Fareham
Tuesday 28 March saw eighteen Teignmouth members set off in a variety of vehicles for a visit to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) at Fareham.
Since the reorganisation of HM Coastguard in November 2015 NMOC has been Teignmouth's point of contact with HMCG following the closure of Brixham.
It was a fascinating experience, we were initially given a broad outline of the current functionality of the facility and then taken into the Operations Room to spend some quality time with the folk at the sharp end of things. First impressions on entry were of a massive wall screen that indicated the current status of Search & Rescue activity around the UK. The front desk was occupied by The Commander in overall charge surrounded by numerous “pods” of screens with operations staff watching and working at computer terminals.