Charmouth Coastwatch

Charmouth NCI station began operations in 2016. The 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 complements and enhances Lyme Bay NCI’s existing capabilities and provides trained volunteer Watchkeeper coverage for this 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.

2019 was the 25th Anniversary of the NCI and 2010 marks the 10th Anniversary of Lyme Bay NCI’s operations. The following statistics for the Charmouth lookout in 2019 provide some idea of the local work we do:

We have observed, logged and recorded the position of:

  • Working Vessels … 670
  • Pleasure Craft … 1480
  • Military and official vessels … 87
  • We have manned the lookouts for 915 person hours on 223 days
  • We have initiated or assisted with HM Coastguard and RNLI in 7 incidents

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and offer a wide range of skills and experience. Maritime experience is not essential and full training is given.

Charmouth NCI is increasing the number of operational days and we will be open from April 7 days a week from 1100 to 1500. NCI is a registered charity and relies entirely on volunteers and public donations. For more information please see the NCI national website