Why volunteer?

Being a volunteer watchkeeper with National Coastwatch means you can help save lives at sea and along our coastline!

Our volunteer watchkeepers devote their time to keeping watch over our shores, inshore waters and coastal paths and cliffs, helping HM Coastguard, the RNLI and shore-based blue light services to save lives.

While technology undoubtedly helps, it can’t spot a drifting kayak, a paddleboarder too exhausted to make it back to shore or a child on an inflatable toy drifting out to sea. That requires a human being, trained not only to observe the potential disaster but to take the correct action quickly and efficiently.

Our training doesn’t require any prior maritime knowledge or experience; it’s designed to take you, at your own pace, from whatever your previous life experience might be to understanding the weather, tides, how to use a maritime chart, how to make and receive VHF radio calls, and everything else required to work with our SAR partners to help save lives at sea and along our coastline.

Being a National Coastwatch volunteer watchkeeper enables you to give back to your community, helping protect local residents and visitors; it gives you new skills, new friends, a sense of pride in yourself and your colleagues and a great sense of satisfaction should you be involved in an incident where lives and property are at risk.