What we do

National Coastwatch is a charity staffed and managed by volunteers who exist to assist in saving life at sea and along the coastline of Engand and Wales.
NCI watchkeepers provide eyes and ears along the coast, looking out for potential incidents and providing a listening watch in poor visibility using VHF radios.
If people find themselves in trouble, our volunteers are there to alert HM Coastguard, who will direct appropriate emergency/rescue services to the casualty.

Work Around The Coast

Each National Coastwatch lookout station is manned by a team of fully trained and dedicated volunteers who keep a daylight watch – 365 days a year at most stations. Watchkeepers come from all walks of life and offer a wide range of skills and experience. Our training ensures that volunteers reach the high standard expected by National Coastwatch and HM Coastguard.
Regular assessments take place at all stations and refresher programmes are held to maintain standards and keep watchkeepers up to date with the latest legislation and improved operational procedures. Watchkeepers provide a vital link with all the emergency services and can provide an emergency contact point on land for both sea and shore users.
If you, a family member or friend uses the coastal waters or the shoreline – maybe canoeing, fishing, boatin, or even walking on our beautiful but sometimes treacherous coastline – we are watching and keeping you safe.

Coastal & Water Safety

National Coastwatch is using on our experience in observation and reporting search and rescue incidents to develop a national voice in water safety and accident prevention.
Alongside our Coastguard and Lifeboat colleagues, we are helping to advance awareness of water safety for all types of coastal users across all generations.


NCI watchkeepers are recognised as an integral part of UK Search and Rescue and play a vital role in the safety of coastal users.
Why not talk to one of our teams about joining them as a volunteer?


Any incident involving the safety of coastal users, on land or at sea, is reported to HM Coastguard, who will deploy appropriate resources.
Incident statistics are used to assist the Board of Trustees to assess the types of event we deal with and direct resources to those areas most in need. They also enable them to ensure that watchkeeper training evolves in the light of changing trends.