History and Origin of NCI Skegness
NCI Skegness originally commenced in March 2004, when a ten-year lease was taken on the former Lifeguard station at Ingoldmells Point. After refurbishment, funded solely by generous public donation from the residents of and visitors to Ingoldmells, the station became operational 7 days a week throughout the year. It was credited with active involvement in saving no less than 23 lives that year alone.
Since it commenced regular operations in March 2005, fully trained watchkeepers had kept visual watches on the three miles of shoreline, beach and promenade between Chapel St Leonards Point and Butlin's Holiday Camp foreshore.
Unfortunately, in June 2008, the land owners requested National Coastwatch to cease operations as the building was deemed unsafe.
Recognising the value of the public safety service on the coast, East Lindsey District Council immediately granted a lease on the old Coastguard tower at Winthorpe, near Skegness.
Coastwatch operations have continued successfully there, since its inauguration in May 2008, and the station has dealt with over 100 reportable incidents up to September 2011. All manner of marine emergencies have been reported including, alerting the coastguard to inflatable beach dinghies and ‘Lilo airbeds' blowing out to sea, swimmers in difficulty, jet skis capsized, vessels in distress and many other similar incidents.
Lost and found children are a significant task during the summer months, together with the summoning of ambulances for injured persons. Aside from observing and reporting potentially vulnerable persons to HM Coastguard, other occurrences dealt with included, stranded seals and injured birds rescued from the beach, which are reported to animal welfare organisations.
Public health and safety impediments such as significant beach debris, munitions, marine mammal carcasses and dangerous chemical containers washing ashore, have also been reported to the relevant authorities for specialist disposal
Our panorama extends from one mile north at Jackson's Corner, to two miles south at Skegness South beach - a very busy surveillance area which includes much commercial fishing and the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind turbine fields, at 3.1 to 5.5 nautical miles offshore. Work on the Lincs turbine field has recently commenced beyond these already busy areas and we have much maritime work traffic transitting the area to observe and log on a daily basis
And so the story continues.
We are always on the lookout for volunteers, both men and women aged up to a sprightly 80 with reasonable mobility (as there are two flights of stairs to climb to reach the lookout). No experience is necessary as you will receive tuition at your own learning pace, for very rewarding and worthwhile professionally-based activity. You will have the chance to meet like-minded people and be serving your community in a positive way. You will be made most welcome.
Roger Gilburd, Station Manager