20th November 2021. This year’s NCI Station Managers meeting took place at the RNLI Training centre in Poole.

NCI Chairman Clive Pouncey opened the meeting with a summary of NCI’s achievements over the last year and thanked the membership for all their hard work over the previous year before sharing some of the charity’s plans for the future. He also paid tribute to Honorary President Jon Gifford who stood down from the role in September, before introducing Acting Treasurer Lesley Suddes who presented an overview of the charity’s current financial situation. As Project Leader, Lesley also described the NCI strategy project and outlined the six high-level strategies for the next five years.

Business Development Trustee Chris Apps took to the podium to describe the role of the newly formed Station Development Team. After explaining that the role of the team was to facilitate and expedite the development of new stations and major refurbishments while​ avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort, Chris went on to introduce the members of the team.

Next it was the turn of Chief Executive Officer David Crozier to address the meeting. David explained the proposed changes to the National Management structure and why it is necessary for NCI to become professionally structured. This will increase the confidence of our SAR partners and sponsors, provide a better support structure for stations and release the Trustees to carry out their constitutional duties. David concluded by reminding everyone that we are all working towards the same purpose nationally and we should be supporting each other nationally. The morning session was rounded off by our patron Sir Christopher Coville who joined the meeting by video and addressed the delegates.

The afternoon session was opened by Samantha Hughes, Deputy Head of Water Safety for the RNLI, who gave a very interesting presentation outlining the role of the Water Safety Team and describing the RNLI safety campaigns such as ‘Respect the Water’ and ‘Float to Live’. This was followed by NCI General Secretary Stephen Hand who outlined the NCI 5-year water safety program and how we can work with our SAR partners to promote safety and prevention through education. Welsh Liaison Trustee Phil Styles reinforced this message by using the NCI station at Porthcawl as a case study.

The subject was then opened up to the delegates to discuss water safety and share best practise in an open forum. Many stations shared their experiences of building good relationships with their harbourmasters, other agencies and their local communities. Several stations discussed their involvement with Water Safety Groups and how their involvement has proved to be a positive step towards safety. A number of stations also discussed how they are dealing with local issues and how they are dealing with the challenges caused by the increase in the volume of visitors caused by the trend towards staycations. Several other topics were discussed during an hour of very constructive and positive contributions and delegates came away with a lot of food for thought before the meeting was drawn to a close by Clive Pouncey

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Currently 57 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 

NCI watchkeepers provide 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.








The words National Coastwatch Institution and Eyes Along the Coast and the NCI logos are Registered Trademarks of NCI.

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