What is NCI?

National Coastwatch Institution

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) was set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along the UK coastline after most small Coastguard stations were closed down due to Government cuts.

When two Cornish fisherman lost their lives off the Cornish coast right below a recently closed Coastguard lookout, the local people decided to restore a visual watch, and the first NCI Station was opened at Bass Point on The Lizard.

NCI was born!

Other stations quickly followed, and today there are 49 operational stations keeping watch around the British Isles.

Each NCI Station is manned by a team of fully trained volunteers who keep a daylight watch for up to 365 days per year. Stations are equipped with telescopes, radar, marine VHF radios, telephones and electronic weather instruments as well as up-to-date marine charts.

How are we funded?

The NCI, being a registered charity, is controlled by a board of trustees working under a constitution agreed by the Charities Commission.

Volunteer Station Management Teams are responsible for each individual station, the provision of trained personnel and maintenance of the lookout.

Fund raising relies on the generosity and good will of the local community, allied to the efforts of the NCI members, their families and friends.

Watchkeepers provide their own uniform and pay their own expenses in getting to and from duties.

The Station provides equipment including binoculars, telescopes, radios, radar and telephone.

We receive no assistance from the Government and rely entirely upon donations and money we raise by our own efforts.

Please see our Support Us pages to see how you can help.

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