Thursday 21st August.
Watchkeepers looking out for your safety this Thursday are Colin B and Dee in the morning and Steve and George T in the afternoon.
Founded in 1998, Exmouth Coastwatch is one of the network of Look-Out Stations around the UK which comprise the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI); we are situated in the tower, right on the seafront above the Harbour View Cafe on Marine Parade in Exmouth, East Devon, next to the beach's Red Flag zone.
From this vantage point, we keep watch over the bay, the beach and the estuary 7 days a week in summer and every weekend in winter.The dangerous sea approaches to Exmouth, especially in strong onshore winds and swell, coupled with the large drying areas inside the Estuary and the strong tidal and river streams within, all present unique hazards to small boats, jet-skis, kitesurfers, windsurfers, paddleboarders, bathers, yachts, dinghies and canoes.
As part of the overall UK Search & Rescue capability, we undergo annual inspection by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) to ensure that our stringent standards are maintained.
Wednesday 13th August. OFCOM has granted to NCI a national licence for the use of VHF Channel 65; this is with the wholehearted support of MCA/HMCG. All NCI stations will go live on Channel 65 on Wednesday October 1st, "Channel 65 Day".
Exmouth Coastwatch will be using this channel to respond to requests from passing and local vessels for actual weather and sea state information, responding to other marine based requests, providing information on local facilities and situations, exercising communications and making contact with vessels for matters relating directly to NCI's role as part of the Search and Rescue (SAR) organisation.
1,000 Hits in a day ! (well, almost)
Monday 11th August.
In only our 4th month with this new Exmouth NCI website, yesterday we almost crashed the 1,000 hits in a day barrier - good news for our loyal website sponsors.
'Sailor Tom' In Training For RS Quba Canine Championships
Wednesday 6th August. Spotted on Exe Estuary this afternoon - 'Sailor Tom' gives his owner a turn at the tiller. More photos here.
Compass Jellyfish Still About
Monday 4th August. Off-duty watchkeeper Keith Cornish photographed this Compass jellyfish near Exmouth this week, demonstrating that they are still about. The stinging cells and venom of Chrysaora hysoscella are strong and can produce painful, long lasting weals.
Capsize in Swashway
Sunday 3rd August 14:36. A 12ft motor dinghy with 6 people on board capsized in Exmouth Approaches near Buoy 8 a couple of hours ago. Passing Day Fishing Boat E6 (Evelyn) rescued 5 people from the water and a 6th was rescued by yacht The Polka and transferred to Exmouth's Inshore Lifeboat shortly after. Exmouth Lifeguard's Jetski was deployed to mark the position of the upturned boat, which was difficult to see given its colour and the sea swell, until the ILB could return to tow her out of harm's way. All 6 casualties, only one of whom was wearing a life vest, were taken to the harbourmaster's office at Exmouth Marina where Paramedics and Ambulance were in attendance.
NCI Watchkeepers had observed several small-vessel boaters without life-vests seemingly underestimating the combination of wind and swell during the morning as the breeze freshened.
Message : KEEP SAFE - Wear a life vest. Check your boat. Don't overload it.
NCI Exmouth Summer Magazine Released
NCI Exmouth's Summer Magazine is now available on this website here, and through the menus (Multimedia / Newsletters / Summer 2014).
[Please be patient while it loads (approx 30secs)]
Coastwatch Cruise Success
Friday 25th July 22:40. A successful evening's balmy off-duty cruising into Teignmouth Harbour by Exmouth Coastwatch with yet again superior treatment from Stuart Line Cruises. Photo Gallery here. Now open to all Members to send Doc their photos from the evening.
RNLI Warns of Rise in Coastal Deaths
Thursday 24th July. The RNLI today launches a coastal safety campaign. A total of 167 people lost their lives off the UK coastline last year, the highest number since 2010, and more than the number of cyclists killed on our roads in a year. The campaign, "Respect The Water", reinforces the basic Dos and Don'ts of using the sea safely. Video here. Campaign details here.
NCI Sea Awareness Training Ends in Real Rescue
Wednesday 16th July. Volunteer Exmouth NCI watchkeepers on one of the regular Sea Awareness Training sessions which remind watchkeepers of hazard and safety issues on the coast and at sea were just a couple of miles from home when they found themselves the closest vessel to a stricken fishing boat at the mouth of the Exmouth Approaches Swashway as Brixham Coastguard broadcast a 'PAN PAN' this afternoon.
The off-duty watchkeepers, Doc Martin and Keith Cornish, more than ably assisted by Keith's wife Margot and rookie watchkeeper Jan Stobo, first used the 'towing alongside' technique, but the strong ebb current and very heavy boat proved too tricky so they had to revert to 'towing astern'. It's the second time in a month that Doc has suffered the ignominy of inching past colleagues in the NCI Tower, towing a stricken vessel in strong ebb conditions.
Exmouth marina harbourmaster and lifeboat coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson kindly gave permission over VHF to tow the boat into the marina, upon completion of which Brixham Coastguard were informed and the incident closed. If you would like to donate to Exmouth NCI, please click here.
Watchkeeper Detects Barrel Jellyfish on Exmouth Beach
Friday 4th July.
Off-Duty Exmouth Coastwatch Watchkeeper Keith Cornish detected more than metal this morning when he stumbled across this barrel jellyfish on the beach at Exmouth. Don't worry - as we reported yesterday, they are harmless to humans. (Click on thumbnails for larger image.)
Thursday 3rd July (14:50).
Barrel jellyfish (left)
over 2ft wide spotted half a mile off Langstone Rock this morning, while just 4 miles away at Budleigh Salterton beach a Compass jellyfish (below)
was spotted, both by Exmouth NCI Members.
The barrel jellyfish is harmless to humans, whereas the stinging cells and venom of the Compass jellyfish are strong and can produce painful, long lasting weals in humans.
£10M Coastal Defence Investment Announced
Tuesday 24th June.
The winter storms displaced 100,000 tonnes of sand and damaged sea defences on Dawlish Warren, right opposite our NCI Tower. But now a £10M project to create a new embankment on the warren, strengthen the seawall and protect buildings in Exmouth has been announced. More info and video courtesy Torquay Herald Express.
Coastwatch Member Spots Shark !
Monday 23rd June.
DON'T PANIC ! This 16ft basking shark spotted by Exmouth Coastwatch member Gordon Betteridge on board friends Mike and Sarah's vessel Devocean, 9 miles south of Exmouth at the Boma wreck on Saturday. Click thumbnails for larger image.
Declared Facility Status P A S S ++
Sunday 22nd June 2014. NCI Exmouth today went through a tough testing process to ensure that we are up to scratch - and we came through with flying colours.
It means that our Tower lookout station can continue to keep its status as a fully fledged part of the integrated search and rescue services and we keep our 'declared facility' status.
Today's watches were assessed on the processes and practices of the station. Asked for his reaction to the continued clean bill of health for the Station, Mike Fowler, Station Manager, said "we have a great team; I'd have expected nothing less than the calm, efficient and knowledgable work which today's watchkeepers, Graham Nye, Keith Cornish, Patrick McCahearty and Steve Wills put in today. Credit must also go to our Training Manager, Colin Bytheway, the Trainers and our 45-plus members."
As well as the RNLI and the Coastguard, our volunteers also work with the other emergency services to assist with incidents on and around our coastline and beaches.
NCI's South West Area Assessor, Colin Pomeroy, observed and tested all aspects of station operations, including looking at the teamwork and competence of the volunteers while guiding Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat by radio onto different simulated casualties in Lyme Bay. Colin's eventual assessment was that we had not only passed but 'well passed'. So - thanks to all involved, and especially to Colin, Graham, Keith, Patrick and Steve. Well done !
West Channel - Why Risk It ?
Saturday 21st June. Click on the picture to see what happens if you risk the West Channel. Since the storms in February/March this year the configuration of the seabed and sandbars has changed and where you might previously have thought you knew how to safely navigate the West Channel you might like to think again, especially if you're not local. Why risk it ? Exmouth Coastwatch photographed this pair who ran out of water last evening. And remember - conditions in the Estuary aren't always as safe as they may appear.
HMS Ranger Spotted by Coastwatch
Friday 20th June. Difficult to miss, really ! Archer class patrol and training vessel HMS Ranger crept into Exmouth on last night's high tide, spotted by Coastwatch arriving at dusk. More info. Click thumbnails for larger image.
. . . . . followed by HMS Dasher . . . . . . . .
Friday 20th June, 11:20. Another Archer class patrol and training vessel, HMS Dasher, currently part of the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron at HMNB Clyde, arrives at Exmouth on this morning's high tide, spotted by Coastwatch at 11:10am. Sources told us that both HMS Ranger and HMS Dasher will be proceeding later today through the canal to Exeter, with VIPs, in readiness for Armed Forces Day tomorrow. Click thumbnails for larger image.
Janice Passes Her Assessment
Thursday 19th June. Janice Stobo became the latest Exmouth NCI recruit to pass her Assessment this morning and is now a fully qualified Watchkeeper. Well done Janice ! Pictured here with Training Officer Colin Bytheway. Click on thumbnails for larger images.