NATIONAL COAST WATCH INSTITUTE Lyme Bay awarded Declared Facility Status

NCI Lyme Bay are proud to announce that we have been awarded Declared Facility Status.The NCI Lyme Bay station was opened in a temporary location at Burton Cliff in July 2010 and after less than  two years we have now gained the award of Declared Facility Status and are now officially part of the UK search and rescue service.  At present we have less than thirty fully-trained volunteer watchkeepers so we can only operate Friday to Monday inclusive, but we have more than volunteers undergoing training and when these are qualified we will be able to operate seven days a week, hopefully by the coming main summer season.To achieve DFS, a station is subject to an all day assessment which includes a number of exercises designed to prove that it can demonstrate its competency in carrying out the core tasks of “Spotting, Plotting and Reporting” and thereby ensure that the highest standards of watchkeeping are maintained. It is then considered by HM Coastguard as an integral part of the Search and Rescue (SAR)
organisation.From our look-out at Burton Bradstock we monitor weather and sea conditions and provide information for mariners, fishermen, walkers and
other users of the sea and coast. We work closely with our partners,  HM Coastguard, the RNLI,  HM Customs and Excise, the Police  and all the emergency
services. At the same time we safeguard the environment by observing coastal and marine life.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS)
As if achieving DFS wasn’t enough it’s just been officially announced that,  along with the three other NCI Station in Dorset at Portland Bill, St Albans Head and Swanage,NCI Lyme Bay  are to be presented with the hugely prestigious  Queens Award for Voluntary Service!The Queen\’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to
celebrate the anniversary of the Queen\’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups, recognises theoutstanding contributions made to local communities by groups in the UK, Channel Islandsand Isle of Man voluntarily devoting their time for the benefit of others.This is the highest national honour that can be bestowed upon groups of this kind. As such,The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service not only serves to provide recognition of volunteer groups, but also demonstrates the high respect in which volunteering is held.

Our most important objective now though is to find a permanent location for our Look-Out when we have to vacate our present temporary site at Burton Cliff this coming autumn. We are hoping to move, subject to planning permission, to a permanent location on the western esplanade at West Bay having
had to withdraw our original proposal to move to the east pier as a consequence ofobjections on environmental conservation grounds.We also urgently need to
recruit more volunteers to train as watchkeepers – you don’t need to have a maritime background as we’ll provide all the necessary training, but you do need
to be able to commit to doing at least a couple of four-watches a month on average – if you’re interested in finding out more please contact Clare Reeves on 01297 560996 or Graeme Gemmill on 01308 482178