News (Apr 2017 - Sep 2016)
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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.
Our watchkeepers contacted the authorities when the body of this cetacean was discovered on the beach at Eastcliff, just below the yacht club on Saturday morning.
All beached mammals are the property of the Crown and after consultation between the Coastguard and representatives of Teignbridge Council the body was removed for further investigation. The exact type of mammal is not confirmed but it may have been a young Harbour Porpoise. There was a quantity of rope and a marker buoy nearby and it is possible that the poor creature became entangled.
It is comforting to see that the Border Force are keeping their 'eyes along the coast' too.
John Silverman, a regular Teignmouth Post columnist, came into the Lookout to take this photograph of HMC Seeker, the Border Force Cutter.
One of the duty watchkeepers managed to take the photograph below through one of our scopes with his mobile!
Teignmouth NCI at the TAAG
Teignmouth NCI takes part in the Community Organisations Exhibition at the TAAG Arts and Community Centre, 4/5 Northumberland Place, Teignmouth
From January 9th 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm until January 20th.
Free Dolphin Display
On Wednesday 7th December the watch keepers in the NCI lookout at Eastcliff were treated to a fantastic aquatic display courtesy of a pod of 3 bottlenose dolphins. The pod was sighted at about 14:00 approximately half a mile South East of the lookout. The dolphins were initially making their way North East toward Dawlish but paused for about 15 minutes. During this time they not only swam in a circle, frequently ‘breaking the water’ but also played ‘follow the leader’ and taking turns to leap entirely out of the water and returning into a dive. In contrast, it was interesting to note that the people walking along the sea wall were completely oblivious to this spectacle.
The activity was recorded and reported to Brixham Seawatch. The theory for their activity is that they were a breakaway group of adolescent males temporarily away from the main pod who had 'gone fishing' by diving deep, disturbing the sea bed and also playing and 'showing off' to each other.
2016 Christmas Cards
Members of Teignmouth Art Society have once again generously donated their original artwork to Teignmouth Coastwatch for this year's Christmas Cards.
Last year's cards were so successful we approached them again and the five designs they submitted were so good the members couldn't decide between them - so we printed all five. The cards can be viewed in our lookout at Eastcliff, Teignmouth. Proceeds from the sales will go to Friends of Teignmouth Coastwatch, a recently formed group raising funds for the equipment essential to our maintaining an effective lookout station.
We have been in our new lookout for over a year now and welcome visitors except when we are dealing with an emergency. We are open during daylight hours 365 days a year.
The morning watch on Friday 18th spotted what they thought was a dead seal about 10 metres off the beach. Unable to get hold of either the Teignmouth Beach Manager or Dolphin Watch they decided to ring the RSPCA for help and advice. Whilst doing this the seal woke up and happily swam away.
Coastwatch - looking out for all water users!
Update Saturday 19th: Seal pup on the beach at Shaldon being monitored by a Marine Mammal Medic from British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
May not have been our seal but it seems distinctly possible. We contacted BDMLR and they were particularly interested that we saw no sign of the mother.
The pup is likely to be taken to a seal sanctuary today as it appears 'very quiet' and there are concerns for it.
Update Monday 21st: The pup was taken to the RSPCA West Hatch Animal Centre at Taunton on Saturday.
Watchkeepers' Beach Games
Walkers along Teignmouth sea front on Wednesday evening were treated to some free entertainment courtesy of Coastwatch watchkeepers running around the beach pretending to be casualties or lifeboats.
One of the skills watchkeepers have to acquire is the ability to direct a lifeboat onto a casualty in the water using vhf radio. Without practice this isn't a simple task involving as it does bearings, distances and good radio proceedures.
We can't always practice with the lifeboat and having watchkeepers running around the beach being directed by other watchkeepers in the Lookout is a simple alternative and good fun for the spectators.