News (Oct 2015 - Jan 2015)

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Incidents October 2015

2nd October - The RIB 'Doc Martin'

The RIB 'Doc Martin' got into difficulties entering harbour when she lost her steering. Although the sea was calm, the waters in the estuary mouth were truly horrible. The RIB had been logged earlier when she left harbour and, returning a short while later, was logged as entering again. Within a few moments she reappeared and gave all the appearance of behaving like a jet ski where the rider is 'playing' with the surf. Within seconds she put out a 'May Day' Watchkeepers made immediate phone contact with Solent and advised that they had visual on the RIB and were able to give her position and maintain a running commentary as Solent put out a call for any vessel in the vicinity to go to her aid. Thankfully, 'Teign C' was dredging at the Point and responded immediately, managing to get a line aboard and tow 'Doc Martin' into calm water in front of the lookout before transferring all 3 of those on board. The RIB was then towed into Teignmouth where it was discovered that her steering cable had snapped.

9th October - Unmanned motor launch washed up

Watchkeepers observed a motor launch drifting on the tide towards Teignmouth from the Parson and Clerk for a couple of hours. At first it was thought that she was fishing. When no one had been visible on board for over an hour and she was starting to drift inshore, Solent Coastguard were alerted and advised of watchkeepers' concerns. Before Solent took action the boat got caught in a strong current and headed rapidly for the beach.

Teignmouth station manager, Eddy Stephenson and retired NCI Trustee, Jim Hay, were visiting the Lookout at the time.

Eddy and Jim went into hands-on action and managed to prevent damage to the launch until the lifeboat arrived. Thankfully there was no one ill or injured on board, the cabin door was locked and the outboard motor stowed neatly inside. The boat had broken her moorings somewhere in the Exe and simply had herself a lazy ‘awayday’ drifting with the tide.

Eddy and Jim get "hands on" with the crew from "The Two Annes"

"The Two Annes" take the casualty in tow

Officially Open

The new Lookout was officially opened today (20th September 2015) by the High Sheriff of Devon, Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CBE.
Eddy Stephenson (Teignmouth Station Manager) introducing Sir James and NCI Chairman of Trustees Alan Richards

...more on the New Lookout - Project Diary page

VHF Channel 65

Following reports that vessels calling us on Channel 65 have been unable to hear our replies we have carried out a number of tests. We have successfully communicated with the dredger Teign C operating in the channel by the pier and a vessel in the Exe. We therefore conclude that our set is working however it has to be remembered that VHF is essentially "line of site" and with the present low level of our aerials we are probably heavily screened from vessels in the estuary. Our reception will obviously improve when we move to the new Lookout.

Jellyfish found on Beach

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A large and rather nasty jellyfish found on Teignmouth beach today.

Photo reproduced courtesy of Dorothy Dawson (Pictures of Teignmouth)

Temporary Lookout Arrives

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Monday 2nd March

Big day! This morning our temporary Lookout arrived on site and we just hope that the winter storms have passed because this will be vulnerable to a big easterly gale.

Read more on our New Lookout - Project Diary page

RCC Medal for Services for Cruising

The Royal Crusing Club has awarded the National Coastwatch Institution their Medal for Services for Cruising 2014. The citation reads

2014 Winner - National Coastwatch Institution. The Medal for Services to Cruising has been awarded to the National Coastwatch Institution on the 20th anniversary of their founding. They are now an established part of safety at sea and keep watch from 50 lookouts over both the sea and the coastline. Their importance has now been officially recognised with the awarding of their own VHF channel - channel 65. If you are sailing past one of their lookouts they will be pleased to hear from you and in return can offer weather and local advice - don’t hesitate to give them a call. They perform an enormous service as they log our coastal passages, and the 2000 trained lookouts give their time freely. They are worthy winners of the Medal for Services to Cruising.

Lookout Programme

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Last chance for historic photos of our old Lookout!

We will be moving out of our Lookout into a temporary portcabin located just below the existing building during week commencing 2nd March. The following week the existing Lookout will be demolished.

We hope to be back up and running in the new building by mid-June.

During the building process we will be maintaining watches as normal. We also hope that both the weather station and webcam will continue in operation but we won't have radar so please don't get lost in fog.

Except for a couple of days at each end of the programme we should be available during watch hours either by phone 01626 772377 or on VHF channel 65

Our New Lookout

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Building work on our new Lookout will begin shortly!

Thanks to a substantial grant from the Viridor Credits Environmental Company and many other smaller but equally welcome grants and donations, we now have the funds to build our new Lookout and work is expected to begin within weeks.

Once the old Lookout has been demolished, we hope to be temporarily housed somewhere along the esplanade in a mobile unit maintained by National Coastwatch for just such situations.

Our webcam and weather station are proving to be increasing popular, with over 5000 hits in the last month. We hope to keep these running during the building process but inevitably there will be some service disruption. We will add notes about this to the weather and webcam pages when we have more details.

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