The Portscatho Branch of the National Coastwatch Institution have passed their assessment allowing them to become a ‘Declared Facility Status’ for H.M. Coastguard’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Pendennis, Falmouth, and can now be officially recognised as part of the Maritime Search and Rescue emergency services.
The NCI Portscatho watch-keepers were assessed on Friday 17th April 2015. They were lead by their Station Manager Robert Pepper and included from the 31-strong team at Portscatho, Watchkeeper David Foster, Senior Watchkeeper Peter Cashell (who is also the Health and Safety Manager) and Watchkeeper Colin Jarvis. Chris Townsend was also in attendance representing the training team. The NCI Assessor Peter Clements, from NCI Bass Point, wasw there to put the volunteer watchkeepers through a number of tests and interviews to assess their capabilities of assisting the Coastguard in their Search and Rescue operations. The Assessor was impressed with the overall performance of the Watchkeepers, who successfully completed the rigorous assessment on behalf of the Station, enabling it to achieve Declared Facility Status. This station has now held DFS since 2008. NCI Portscatho opened in 2001, occupying the old H.M. Coastguard lookout at Pednvadan Point, and is one of 13 operational stations around the Cornish coast. Each station is manned and maintained by fully trained volunteers who keep a daylight visual watch around the coast providing a vital link with the emergency services in the event of accidents at sea, or on the beaches and cliff-faces or along the coastal footpath. The Station at Portscatho is manned presently from Easter to the end of October, for six days per week (not Tuesday), between 9.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is striving to recruit more volunteers to enable the Station to be manned for 7 days per week. During the months of July and August the watch is extended until 6.30pm.
Anyone interested in becoming an NCI volunteer Watch-keeper should contact the current Station Manager, Robert Pepper on 01872 501670 or the Deputy Station manager Bob Carton on 01872 501720