Members of the UK’s National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) visited the Baltic Exchange this week. The voluntary organisation runs a network of stations around the UK and is supported by the Baltic Charitable Foundation.
There are currently 55 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2400 volunteers keeping a visual watch around the British Isles. Whilst technology and sophisticated systems are aids to improved safety, a computer cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat or a yachtsman or fisherman in trouble. Other vulnerable activities like diving, wind surfing and canoeing are made safer with visual surveillance. NCI watchkeepers are the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies, offering a variety of skills and experience and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.
For further details, see www.nci.org.uk