News (Dec 2019 - Jul 2019)
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Station Managers Meeting
A very special Station Managers meeting took place recently at the Victory Services Club in London, when our Royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal kindly accepted an invitation to join us and meet the volunteer Station Managers of the National Coastwatch Institution.
Her Royal Highness was greeted by Lesley Suddes (Chairman) and Air-Commodore Nigel Beet (CEO Victory Services Club) before moving downstairs to meet the assembled Station Managers.
The Station representatives had been grouped together into geographical areas and The Princess Royal visited each group where she was given a short introduction to their region. Her Royal Highness expressed her pleasure at meeting so many of the station representatives from around the country and said that she found the group presentations interesting and informative. She then said that in her view, meetings like this were a very valuable way of sharing information, discussing best practice and equipment – including which kettles make the best tea when on watch. Her Royal Highness concluded by thanking everyone present for all their hard work which is what makes the charity the success it is today.
New Station Manager
On Thursday 5th December, Teignmouth NCI held its AGM at the Den Bowling Club. As well as electing new officers, members at the AGM saw Eddy Stephenson stand down as Station Manager.
Teignmouth station has come a long way under Eddy’s leadership and it was with real pleasure, and gratitude, that members were able to present Eddy with a token of appreciation for his hard work over the past 10 years. Eddy would be the first to acknowledge that the support of Tricia through those years has made his job a lot easier, and it was with equal pleasure that watch keepers were also able to recognise that support with a basket of flowers for Tricia. A sincere thank you to the Stephenson ‘team’ for 10 years of true commitment.
Thanks were also given to Rob Voysey who has stood down from his role as one of the Lookout Team.
Following the AGM, the new Station Manager, Isobel Brooks was welcomed to the role by Eddy at the lookout.
On Friday 8th November, the training section of Teignmouth NCI held a very successful Watchkeepers Update session courtesy of Bishopsteignton Methodist church.
There were 5 trainers and the session was attended by 14 watchkeepers and trainees.
There were presentations on chartwork and vessel recognition followed by some practical skills-based activities for radio use. These included Conning the Lifeboat and Effective Radio Communication.
The final session was another 'hands on' activity on chartwork.
All the activities were organised and delivered by our experienced trainers who are thanked for all their hard work.
On Sunday morning, 10th November, representatives of Teignmouth NCI joined the Remembrance Day parade in Teignmouth.
Suitably protected against the weather, a number of watchkeepers marched and during the service, our Station Manager, Eddy laid the NCI wreath at the war memorial.
Survey work begins
This November, the survey vessel, MV Titan Discovery, has started it's work for Teignbridge District Council. She will be conducting a hydrographic bathymetric survey between Teignbridge and Exmouth.
The Titan Discovery will also complete a small survey within Brixham harbour.
This work forms part of the South West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme and will take place from November to December 2019.
For full details of the survey work click here
A Declared Facility Status (DFS) is required by HM Coastguard for an NCI Station to be fully integrated with the UK Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation. This year, September 5th was the date for the annual review of our status and once again it turned out to be a successful day for Teignmouth NCI.
The assessor spent over three hours in the lookout observing the skills of the watchkeepers from two consecutive watches. At the end of the visit, he had no hesitation in recommending that Teignmouth NCI should continue to hold it's Declared Facility Status.
He described the station as being very well run by an excellent and experienced team led by the Station Manager. He highlighted how well equipped the lookout is and that it is maintained in first class order. He also praised our training system which ensures all Watchkeepers are well versed in the necessary procedures.
All in all an excellent day - well done Teignmouth NCI.
15th Celebration Event
Well, that was fun! What a great evening, shared by 44 members and partners celebrating 25 years of NCI nationally and 15 years of Teignmouth NCI. With memories, laughter and good food, and, of course, a bar!
We welcomed Ann-Marie Morris, Teignbridge MP, who presented 15 year certificates and badges to our 4 remaining founder members, Anne and Peter Channng, Peter Tysoe and Ian Radford. These 4 stalwarts cut the celebration cake organised for us by Sara Barker, our social secretary, and made by The Hobbit Cake Shop and decorated with the NCI logo and wording to record Teignmouth’s 15 years.
With the function room at The Cockhaven Arms decorated with NCI bunting and balloons, and NCI flag, there was a real sense of celebration. People met friends old, and new, and puzzled and laughed at the ‘old’ photos of some watchkeepers. Our sincere thanks go to Friends of Teignmouth Coastwatch for subsidising member’s costs.
The PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) jackets were distributed to help keep watchkeepers warm and dry when on NCI business.
On Saturday 27th July - Teignmouth NCI celebrates its 15th anniversary of operating from the site of the old coastguard tower by decking out the new tower with nautical flags.
A big thank you to all our supporters over the years, enabling us to build the new watchtower and equip it with all safety equipment required.
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.
This year is also the 25th anniversary of NCI, the first station was opened at Bass Point on the Lizard. Today there are 54 NCI stations, operational and manned by over 2400 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles, working in close contact with the Maritime Coastguard Agency to become an integral part of the National Search and Rescue Structure.