Charmouth National Coastwatch Institution Lookout
Charmouth NCI station began operations in 2016. The new facility, which is based in a Napoleonic-era lookout close to the Charmouth Heritage Centre, acts as a satellite station to Lyme Bay NCI’s main lookout at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock. It will complement and enhance Lyme Bay NCI’s existing capabilities and provide trained volunteer Watchkeeper coverage for a popular part of the coast.
NCI provides eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring maritime radio channels and maintaining listening watch. Visual surveillance monitors sea borne vessels and vulnerable activities such as wind surfing and kayaking. NCI maintains close contact with Her Majesty’s Coastguard reporting any emergences and, if required, co-ordinates with search and rescue services such as the RNLI at Lyme Regis.
Locally, Watchkeepers also provide a valuable service to members of the public advising on walking routes, tides and general sea conditions. The Charmouth lookout recently provided valuable observation assistance to HMCG in relation to a sailing vessel which had got into difficulties.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and offer a wide range of skills and experience. Many of you will have seen the Specsavers TV advert for hearing aids showing the main lookout which starred one of our volunteers, Pearl Marsland, who is a professional actor.
Charmouth NCI currently operates weekends and Bank Holidays 1100 to 1400 but we hope to increase this in due course. NCI is a registered charity and relies entirely on volunteers and public donations. For more information see the Lyme Bay NCI website www.lymebaycoastwatch.co.uk and national website www.nci.org.uk.