13th January 2022. The volunteer watchkeepers of the National Coastwatch Institution not only provide the Eyes along the Coast - they also provide the Ears along the Coast by monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility.

Just after mid-day last Monday the volunteer watchkeepers at NCI Boscastle heard a PanPan call on VHF Ch16 from a yacht who gave its estimated position and reported that he was 'lost in the fog and scared to death'. HM Coastguard at Falmouth responded and then contacted the Boscastle watchkeepers to request the actual weather and sea conditions in the area. At this point visibility was down to less than 500m.

Half an hour later, the yacht advised that the weather was lifting and he was making for Padstow. Falmouth Coastguard did not respond to this transmission, so it was relayed to them by NCI Boscastle.

Falmouth Coastguard advised that the Padstow All Weather Lifeboat had already been tasked to assist. Shortly afterwards, the visibility had greatly improved and the NCI Boscastle team contacted Falmouth Coastguard to advise that both the yacht and the lifeboat were visible about 2.5nm from the station and the yacht was being escorted safely to Padstow harbour by the Padstow lifeboat.

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Currently almost 60 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 Filey in North 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.

Contact Details

0300 111 1202
[email protected]


0845 460 1202
[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB