10th February 2020. Storm Ciara has battered the UK with gale force winds and rough seas this weekend causing widespread chaos.

Most of our exposed lookout stations around our coast were hit by the high winds and flying debris forcing several stations to close early over the weekend due to safety concerns.

The small transportable NCI station at Aberystwith was one of these stations. A spokesperson for the station said “Partway through todays watch our watchkeeper David, had to call it a day. Although he says that the sea is dramatic to look at, the wind speeds of over 64kts hitting our small mobile station is also dramatic but nerve racking. But well done and thank you David for staying as long as you did. We are also very grateful for watchkeeper Ed's excellent rope work which seems to be holding our station down in this storm”.

However, many stations were able to remain open thanks to the volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institution. Some stations have reported exterior damage and several stations have reported winds in excess of 75mph, with the NCI Needles station on the Isle of Wight reporting a record wind speed of 96.7mph.

The photograph shows the dramatic waves in SW Cornwall.

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Currently 56 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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