New National Coastwatch Station Opening in Hornsea
National Coastwatch (NCI) are opening a new watch station on the North Promenade, Marine Drive, Hornsea next week.
NCI is a 100% voluntary organisation set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores following the closure of a number of small Coastguard stations. Our new station on the North Promenade was a former Coastguard station, but may be best known as the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Foreshore Office
Until now NCI had 52 operational stations keeping watch around our coastline, The Hornsea station is the 53rd making it the newest and most northerly on the east coast. Although part of a national network, Hornsea station is very much a local initiative, proudly developed and run by local Community volunteers providing “Eyes along the coast” for the Her Majesty’s Coastguard.
Conscious that high technology and sophisticated systems have vastly improved safety at sea, they declare that there is no substitute for a watchful pair of eyes. Accidents do happen and a computer cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat a fisherman with engine failure or a child drifting on an inflatable.
The volunteers are in the final stages of preparing the station for operations and undergoing training which will enable them to commence daylight watches up to 365 days a year. Within a short period of time the station will be equipped not only with sharp eyes and powerful optics, but also with radar, automatic ship recognition, VHF radios, telephone and weather instruments as well as up-to-date charts. They will then progress towards gaining Declared Facility Status (DFS), in order to become part of the UK’s Search and Rescue (SAR) family and integrate into the network of emergency services that support the needs of this coastal community.
NCI will formally open the station on the 1st August this year and NCI’s Patron Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal will pay a visit. Meanwhile, if you are taking a walk on the North Promenade, you are welcome to visit and meet the volunteers who are working to develop Hornsea’s new station.