Eyes along the coast

By Tim Day

A north Wales landmark is now home to a new life-saving coastal lookout station. It is staffed by local unpaid volunteers, who are keeping an eye out for people at risk around our coast, whether ashore or at sea, whether exploring or appreciating wildlife. They help to protect lives, by spotting people in difficulty, plotting their location and then reporting directly to H M Coastguard.

“I am very excited to be a member of this new team of great people who have come together for the benefit of local residents and visitors. It’s not difficult to watch the coast, but there are real skills to learn in taking bearings of vessels, plotting on charts and using VHF radio. It’s easy, once you know what you’re doing.” said volunteer Watchkeeper and Station Secretary, Tim Day, from Colwyn Bay.

The National Coastwatch Institution’s lookout is situated in the car park of the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ café, on the beautiful Great Orme, from where there is a stunning bird’s eye view out to sea. This summer, it is operating every Saturday and Sunday between 11.00am and 3.00pm, and will gradually increase the number of watches as trainees qualify as Watchkeepers and as the number of volunteers increases. During opening hours, everyone is welcome to come to see what is happening and to find out more.

The volunteer Deputy Station Manager, Tony Morris, of Llandudno, said; “We are thrilled to have opened on the Great Orme and to be attracting so many visitors and new members. We look forward to opening on even more days of the week once we have more volunteers. We hope we will never see anyone in danger, but we keep our eyes wide open, just in case.”

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