Training & Personal Development 

As a Coastwatch Tay recruit volunteer you will receive appropriate structured training in order for you to complete a basic knowledge assessment which is designed to ensure that you have gained the necessary skills requirement as agreed with HMCG to deal with an emergency situation in an authoritative professional manner, being able to gather all relevant facts accurately and passing on concise information in a timely manner to the respective emergency agency, eg: Maritime Coastguard Agency, Police, Fire or Ambulance via the 999 system.

Operational speed can be a lifesaver in itself, BUT NEVER AT THE EXPENSE OF ACCURACY.

Upon successful completion of this training you will progress to the grade of qualified Watch Officer.

NOTE: If a volunteer has provable previous experience or training this will be taken into consideration.

Station Manager Gareth Norman presents trainee watch keepers Lynn Bell and Frank Burke with their MCA VHF maritime short range radio operator certificates.

Spotting......                                                                   Bearing to target......

Concentration - Observation - A keen eye - Vigilance - Local knowledge - Experience

  Plotting....                                                                   Observation training...

After a bearing has been taken it is transferred onto the chart and the co-ordinates calculated.

RYA/MCA VHF Marine Radio Operator Training

 Examples of the training provided: 
  • Basic spot, plot and report
  • Chart work and O/S maps, symbols and basic understanding
  • Observation techniques
  • Ship recognition
  • Radio communications training in order to gain the VHF short range certificate/GMDSS certificate
  • Practise to absolute perfection the Phonetic Alphabet 
  • Weather reporting, causes and basic understanding 
  • Topography 
  • Radar
  • Tidal Heights
  • Basic Boat Handling to RYA 2 powerboat standard
  • Ropes & Knots
  • Maritime Distress Signals
  • How to use Binoculars
  • Accurate Report writing
  • Navigation
  • First Aid including BHF Heartstart  


All this training sounds as if it will take up a lot of time!

There is no formal commitment – just give as much or as little time as you are able to give. Our work is purely voluntary for the benefit of the community, and any help that can be given is greatly appreciated.

Nothing is compulsory.





Images & Content © Copyright 2009 - 2018 Coastwatch Tay Coastal Surveillance Unit. All rights reserved. 

Disclaimer Notice 9th November 2009 - Coastwatch Tay is an autonomous organisation and although affiliated with the Coastwatch Scotland network we accept no responsibility or liability for the actions, business transactions or associated services of any similarly named organisation using the name ‘Coastwatch’ or ‘Coastwatch Scotland’. Please also note that we are NOT part of the National Coastwatch Institution or Sea Safety Group which currently does not operate stations in Scotland.
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