Latest awards for Coastwatch volunteer team

Long service awards being presented to volunteers from the National Coastwatch Institute by the High Sheriff of Lancashire, John Barnett.
Long service awards being presented to volunteers from the National Coastwatch Institute by the High Sheriff of Lancashire, John Barnett.
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Their service is an extra means of keeping people safe on Fleetwood’s beaches - now some of the town’s Coastwatch volunteers have been given long service medals.

Fleetwood’s National Coastwatch Institute (NCI) is based at the observation tower at Rossall Point and the station is entirely run by volunteers.

Using an array of state-of-art equipment, they are able to scan the coast to ensure no one is in trouble either on the shore or out to sea, and work closely with the Coastguards and Fleetwood Lifeboat.

On Sunday, the High Sheriff of Lancashire, John Barnett visited the tower to hand over some five year service awards to six volunteers.

Mr Barnett, who was given a tour of the facility, told the team that their work was potentially life-saving.

Stuart McGregor, press officer for Fleetwood NCI, said: “It was good to have someone like the High Sheriff handing over the awards. All the team members are volunteers and are committed to what they do and we have people providing cover on every day of the year.

“We have only been established at Fleetwood since 1994 and the Rossall Point Tower was only upgraded and our equipment udated in 2013, so five years represents some solid service.”

There are currently 45 Coastwatch volunteers at the Fleetwood station, most of whom come from the town itself, although some are from further afield.

Stuart said new members were always welcome but explained that all the volunteers needed to pass exams to demonstrate they know how to handle the equipment.

He said: “It is vital we get things right and know how to accurately measure longitude and latitude.That could be the difference to saving someone’s life because the Coastguard and Lifeboat need to know exactly where the person who needs rescuing actually is.”

Receiving the wards were: Bill Tyrer, Andrew Griffin, Bob Loynes (station manager), Ramon Ball, Ken Rennison and Richard Hardy.

For more information on Fleetwood NCI phone Stuart on 07850 720090.