National Coastwatch Institution (Whitstable)

NCI Whitstable


National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is a voluntary organisation set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores after many small Coastguard stations had to close down due to Government cuts. Today there are 42 operational stations around Britain’s coastline.

NCI believe that there is no substitute for a watchful pair of eyes. Technology and sophisticated systems are aids to improve safety, a computer cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat, or yacht in trouble. Other vulnerable activities include diving, windsurfing, canoeing etc. are safer with visual surveillance.

Each NCI station is manned by a team of fully trained volunteers, keeping watch year round, during most daylight hours. Stations are equipped with telescopes, telephone, weather instruments, and up to date charts. Watchkeepers are the eyes and ears along the coast, keeping a visual watch, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility.

NCI watchkeepers are trained to deal with emergencies and report directly to the Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA). A variety kept of all activities and local weather conditions. Watchkeeper offer a wide variety of skills and experience and full training ensures that the high standards set by both NCI and MCA are met. A regular commitment is essential and there are currently over 1,700 volunteers keeping watch. NCI offers 174,000 hours of organized coastal surveillance, actively involved in over 400 incidents per year at no cost to the public.

NCI Whitstable News …….

Lat: 51 21.9N
Long: 001 03.6E

OS: TR 130 674

Marine Crescent
Tankerton Bay East
Tel: 07864 646209

Station Manager: Chris Brown
Deputy Station Manager: John Frost
Tel: 07727430048 (24-hour enquiries)

Visual Watch

Watch Hours:
1000 – 1700 Weekends and Bank Holidays

For an assessment of current weather and sea conditions call the duty watchkeeper on 07932 968707

Contact the station by email