News (Aug 2021 - Jul 2020)

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National Coastwatch Day

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Saturday the 28th August 2021 is National Coastwatch Day. A day to celebrate and promote the voluntary work done by all NCI stations in helping to preserve life at sea and along the coast.

Sadly, this year with the COVID pandemic ongoing, Teignmouth station is unable to welcome any visitors to our lookout. We are now able to gradually return to having 2 watchkeepers on duty, an enormous step forward from all the solo watches of the last 14 months.

Whilst we can't welcome any visitors at the moment we keenly anticipate the day we will be able to.

We should like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported us over the years with donations, both monetary and in goods for raffle prizes, books etc. Thank you to each and every one of you, without you we woukdn't be able to carry on.

Raise your glass to celebrate the fact that Teignmouth station has been open and acting as 'Eyes along the Coast' for the last 27 years. Here's to the next 27!

Surfers Against Sewage

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Surfers Against Sewage publish a really handy online map (and smartphone app) showing where and, perhaps more importantly, where it is not safe to swim or surf. On the present map (August 2021) there are two markers for Teignmouth and one for Shaldon.

The Teignmouth marker to the north of the pier is in the wrong place. It relates to the beach at Holcombe between Sprey Point and the Parson and Clerk. SAS are updating their map but in the meantime just bear that in mind when looking for a safe place to swim.

Please remember to check this map before swimming, particularly after heavy rain as this is when sewers may be discharged into the sea.

Donate Unwanted Books

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Declutter you home and raise money for Teignmouth NCI

To mark World Book Day on the 4th March, Ziffit (a company that buys second hand books) teamed up with Virgin Giving to allow charities to raise funds through the sale of unwanted books.

The Ziffit/Vrgin Giving scheme for World Book Day has resulted in a number of lots of books being sold with the proceeds coming directly to us.

Although you have missed World Book Day, you can still donate books, CDs DVDs and games. The link below will take you straight to a Ziffit page already loaded with our Teignmouth details.

Simply enter the code/ISBN number of the books you wish to sell and you will be given a purchase price. You need a minimum of £5 in you 'sold' box to complete the transaction. There are easy to follow instructions on the web page.

To donate books click here to visit the website.

Changes to the Shipping Forecast

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From Monday (18 January) there are some changes for the foreseeable future to the way the BBC will broadcast the UK Marine Weather Service – including the Shipping Forecast – owing to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

On weekdays, there will be three broadcasts on LW and FM, 0048, 0520 and 1203, with one further broadcast on LW only at 1754.

At the weekends, there will be three broadcasts, all on LW and FM at 0048, 0520 and 1754.

Her Majesty’s Coastguard will be broadcasting as normal via NAVTEX and MF/VHF marine radio.

Strong wind and gale warnings will still be available as and when needed.

Portuguese Man o' War

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Venomous but beautiful Portuguese man o' war have once again been washing up on beaches across Devon and Cornwall, including Teignmouth, and have caused quite a stir.

Not too dissimilar to a jellyfish, the Portugese man-of-war, also known as blue bottle or floating terror, has long tentacles that can cause a painful sting and be fatal in extremely rare cases.

Despite being referred to as a jellyfish, the Portuguese man-o’-war is in fact a different species, as a true jellyfish is a single organism, and the Portuguese man-o’-war is actually a colony of separate polyps (organisms) that live together in the form of this species. However, the separate organisms that make up this species are incapable of independent life and need to be together in the form of the Portuguese man-o’-war to survive.

Although rare, humans have died as a result of being stung by a Portuguese man-o’-war, especially in people who are elderly or have underlying health conditions. Our advice to swimmers is to be cautious. The stinging cells of the Portuguese man-o’-war remain active and capable of stinging for a long time after the creature has died, up to several days if the tentacles have remained damp or been repeatedly covered with water by the incoming tide. Therefore, our advice, if you see one on the beach, is - DON'T TOUCH - and keep your pets away.

Our thanks go to Freya Brooks who sent us the above picture of one she spotted on Teignmouth's main beach earlier this week.

More Info

Donate A Car

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Donate your old car to NCI with

CarTakeBack operates the charitable donation scheme Charity Car and NCI is an official Charity Car partner. It enables you to donate the value of your old car to NCI and it’s simple, safe and legal. Cars are either recycled or auctioned to get the maximum value for the charity.

All you have to do is to go to, select Choose a Charity, then Rescue, then NCI and follow the links. It’s simple, safe and legal.

No need to wait. Bin the banger and buy binoculars!

Boat Access Lane

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We are delighted to see that signs have now been put up by Teignbridge Council advising riders of jet skis and boat owners that the only access to the beach is via the access lane.

Over the last few weeks our watchkeepers have been reporting incidents, to Teignbridge, of riders ignoring or being unaware of the restriction and it seems it's paid off!

There is also a sign reminding swimmers not to swim in the boat access lane which should help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the sea safely.

International Maritime Flags

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Nautical flags are an international code system used for two ships to signal to each other or for a ship to signal to shore. Using a group of different colored flags, shaped flags and markings each one has a different meaning. The flags can be used alone or in combination with another flag.

Nautical flags are made up of 26 square flags (which represent the letters of the alphabet) along with 10 numbered pendants; one answering pendant and three substitutes or repeaters. For easy recognition nautical flags are either red and white, yellow and blue, blue and white, black and white along with plain red, white and blue.

Nautical flags and the knowledge of their meanings are valuable at sea in case of danger or breakdowns in other communications systems such as radio. One-flag signals are urgent or common signals.

One of the most common flags seen is the A or Alpha flag which means there is a diver down. Other indications that there is a diver include the traditional red and white dive flag or surface location markers as shown below.

For more details of maritime flags click here.

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