The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is flying the flag for coastal safety with the start of a 2,000-plus miles station-to-station relay as part of the charity’s 30th anniversary celebrations. 

The relay set off from the NCI Fleetwood station in Lancashire today (3 June), also marking the start of Volunteers Week.  The specially-commissioned anniversary flag will travel anti-clockwise to each of the charity’s 60 coastal watch stations during the summer.  It is due to end its journey by September at the most northerly station on the east coast in Filey, North Yorkshire.  

Sirius Insight, a leading technology company using AI (artificial intelligence) to transform safety and security at sea, is sponsoring the flag relay and providing support for NCI’s 30th anniversary. 

At each station, the volunteer watchkeepers who help save lives around the coast have been coming up with innovative ways to pass the flag on to the waiting crews at their neighbouring station. The 5ft x 3ft flag will be electronically tagged and relayed using all different types of transport including boats and ferries, tractor and trailer, horse and cart, classic cars and by walking and running. 

Click here for flag’s position

Use password NCI30 if prompted.

Stephen Hand, NCI Chair said:  

“This year’s 30th anniversary is the ideal opportunity to put each station on the map and encourage even more people to join in and support us. We are very grateful to Sirius Insight for their sponsorship and support of our anniversary event. It’s part of a growing relationship and a shared philosophy and approach to improving public safety along our coastline. 

“The relay is about having some fun, raising awareness of our work and hopefully raise some vital funds as well. Volunteers Week is the perfect time to kick it off and help shine a spotlight on our volunteers and our lifesaving work as a part of the UK’s maritime search and rescue community.”  

To support NCI: National Coastwatch needs your support to continue its life saving work – JustGiving 

When the flag relay has been completed, the flag will be taken to Trinity House in London for a special commemorative event at the end of September. The date will be announced shortly. The flag will be installed in Trinity House for the duration of the NCI’s 30th anniversary year. Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community.  

National Coastwatch volunteer watchkeepers help to keep people safe and save lives at sea by maintaining a daily visual and radio watch of the coast, looking out for anyone in potential danger. They report any coastal safety-related incidents to HM Coastguard so that expert help can be sent, including the Coastguard Rescue Teams and helicopters, the RNLI, independent lifeboats and all emergency services.   

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