Vital funds needed to help keep National Coastwatch operational
This article was edited (24 August 2024) to reflect the fact that the fundraiser is a localised campaign.
The Gosport branch of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI), which keeps a visual and listening watch along the coastline of England and Wales, has launched an appeal to raise vital funds to help it remain operational.
NCI stations provide lookouts around the UK coastline to assist with the preservation of life at sea, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. Stations also broadcast the weather and tide conditions, and provide radio checks. Sailor Robin Knox-Johnson once called the NCI ‘the best-kept secret in search and rescue’.
The Gosport station, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, has launched a fresh appeal to raise a shortfall of £3,000 per year. Donations can be made either by post, or online, with further information available on the NCI website.
To date, there are 59 lookout stations and 2,503 watchkeepers in the British Isles, and these numbers are continually growing.
NCI, part of HM Coastguard, was founded in 1994 in Cornwall as a volunteer component of the UK Search & Rescue Service, following the closure of Coastguard lookout stations around the coast in 1992.
Because the organisation is entirely self-funded, it relies on generous public support and corporate sponsorship to expand the number of lookout stations it operates around the UK coastline.
Each station costs at least £5,000-£6,000 per year to run, according to NCI data, and there is a constant need for funds for maintenance, new equipment and the cost of basic utilities.
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