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 42 incidents since January 2015 of which 2 are recorded in 2020.
Incident Reports (July 2020 - July 2018)
12th July 2020
Teignmouth NCI were called into action on Sunday when the skipper of an MLI 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.
15th July 2019
At 18:24 hrs on Monday 15th July, Watchkeepers had been observing 2 persons for approximate 20 minutes who had moved from the shoreline to ¼ way up the rock face, the tide was rising. Advised Solent Coastguard of a possible problem at 174 degrees from our tower.
Solent CG advised that the Torbay and Teignmouth CG Land Crews had been deployed to Hopes Nose headland. Requested by CG to established communications via radio Ch0 with the land crews to assist in establishing the position of the casualties who were not visible to them. Teignmouth Lifeboat assistance was requested to undertake a further search from the sea. The casualties were seen moving easterly towards the lifeboat crew onshore. At 20:09 advised by the land crew that “all persons safe and well".
23rd June 2019
At 11:15 hrs on Sunday 23rd June, a yacht called Solent CoastGuards reporting problems with its rigging and drifting near the Orestone Rock. The Watchkeepers had visual sight of the yacht. The Teignmouth inshore lifeboat ‘The Two Annes’ was launched but was unable to locate the yacht. Authorised by the Coastguards, the Watchkeeper directed the lifeboat to the disabled yacht. The lifeboat towed the yacht to Torquay Marina.
5th January 2019
On Saturday 5th January. Watchkeepers received a VHF call from the Teignmouth Sea Cadets rib advising that a kayak was stuck underneath a port hand buoy in the harbour entrance. Watchkeepers asked the Sea Cadets if they thought they could assist and they agreed to try.
As the rib returned to the buoy other kayakers appeared and told the Sea Cadets crew that the kayaker was safely ashore.
After about 5 minutes effort the Sea Cadets crew released the kayak which was then taken in tow by the other kayakers to be returned to its owener.
Watchkeepers view of the buoy is severely restricted by the pier and although the buoy could be seen laid over by the tide the kayak could not be seen however the progress of the rescue efforts were clearly visible
Teignmouth Watchkeepers would like to congratulate the Sea Cadets for their efforts.
22nd August 2018
On 22 August our evening Watchkeepers spotted a dog swimming away from shore with a ball in its mouth.
The animal was rapidly expanding the distance from its owners and showing signs of disorientation.
Duty Watchkeepers advised UK Coastguard and maintained their observation.
Kayakers approached the dog with an attempt at rescue but were unable to take it on board.
With the dog showing signs of tiring and distress Teignmouth Lifeboat launched and, with the radioed direction help
of Teignmouth NCI Watchkeepers, were able to rescue the dog and return it to the owners, waiting anxiously on shore.
12th July 2018
At 11:50hrs on 12 July a watchful member of the public called Teignmouth NCI alerting them to a potentially serious problem developing off the Ness Cove beach.
The report advised the watchkeepers that there was a boat circling out of control with persons apparently struggling in the water.
Teignmouth watchkeepers immediately called UK Coastguard and were able to report a visual on the 'out of control' boat but not of the people in the water.
Teignmouth Lifeboat was tasked to the incident where the crew disabled the boat and reported that the people who had been in the sea were now safe on the beach.
Teignmouth Lifeboat towed the craft back to Polly Steps where the users were to be advised of the merits of using a 'kill' cord at all times when their boat engine was running.
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