Coastwatch Irvine Visit Bristow Prestwick.

December 2016

Our colleagues at Coastwatch Irvine unit visited the search & rescue (SAR) helicopter based at Prestwick Airport.

Bristow Helicopters operate the civilian search and rescue helicopter service across the UK on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard. 

Emergency Services Network

August 2016

Government's new Emergency Services Network that is set to replace the existing national radio network. Known as Airwave, the current system is not capable of carrying video and it is scheduled to be switched off in 2020. 

Airwave supports the three emergency services in the UK and supports over 30 adjacent public safety organisations. The emergency services mobile communications programme (ESMCP) is intended by the government to be a next generation integrated communications system capable of extensive coverage and advanced public safety functionality.

The main contracts were awarded (Motorola and EE) in December 2015 and the service is now in the mobilisation phase before beginning the transition from Airwave in 2017. Looking forward the service is of interest to body camera manufacturers as the government anticipates the ability for frontline responders to live-stream footage back to control rooms from cameras worn at incidents. It is hoped that the 4G network will provide comprehensive data coverage across the UK and the service providers have been required to offer a commitment to increased rural coverage, 98% buildings coverage by population and 90% geographical. 

The anticipated transition continues momentum in the drive towards digital policing with the associated benefits of efficiency and cost-saving. Body-worn camera technology and back office infrastructure is considered integral to this agenda. The latest press release from the government website can be found here. When announcing the Motorola and EE awards they said that the £1bn investment in the infrastructure is expected to save the taxpayer £1 million a day.

Fisherman Airlifted To Safety

9th July 2016

A fisherman had to be rescued after his ship started to sink near Shetland yesterday. The skipper raised the alarm while sailing near the Fair Isle at about 14:45hrs. Shetland Coastguard subsequently launched its search and rescue helicopter and the man was airlifted to safety. The coastguard confirmed the 32ft Hope Three vessel later sank.

Coastwatch Tay volunteer assists in Rescue of Man from River Tay at Dundee.

7th July 2016 - 18:45hrs

Coastwatch Tay volunteer and one of our most dedicated and committed members assisted in the rescue of an adult male from the River Tay at Riverside drive, Dundee. Thanks to the quick actions of our member who quickly took charge of the scene utilising his experience as a coastwatch patrol officer and former coastguard rescue officer, he immediately alerted Aberdeen Coastguard to the incident and then with the assistance of a member of the public used public assess life saving equipment to effect the rescue. The casualty who was conscious and breathing was wet, cold and in a slight state of shock. Police Scotland and Scottish Ambulance service attended and the casualty was taken to hospital for a check up.

These are the quick thinking skills we wish to pass on to those who become volunteers in Coastwatch Tay.

Broughty Ferry RNLI Newest 'Recruit'

27th June 2016

Broughty Ferry Lifeboat proudly introduce their newest crew member 'Oor Wullie'. Designed by talented local artist Fiona Hay. Oor Lifesaver is part of the Oor Wullie bucket trail and can be found on the pilot pier next to the Lifeboat station. The statues will be auctioned off at the end of summer with proceeds going to the Archie Foundation’s appeal for a new twin operating theatre surgical suite for Tayside Children’s Hospital. Whit a braw idea!

A man died after falling from the Tay Road Bridge.

4th May 2016

He was plucked from the water by lifeboat crewmen after a search of the river and rushed to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital.  Police Scotland, Coastguard and the RNLI were all involved in the search operation which was sparked at around 7.30am.  Reports of a man in the water saw both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats scrambled from the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station

Chief Coastguard awarded the OBE in New Year Honours list.

5th January 2016

But although he’s delighted to receive the award, he says it’s down of the efforts of others, not just him.

‘This really is for all those in HM Coastguard, whether as volunteers on the coast, or in the operations rooms making vital decisions on how to deal with incidents, or on the team that worked so tirelessly towards creating this national network. Together, we’re a team. A team that works to search, to rescue and to save, to make our seas and coasts safer places.’

More details here…/chief-coastguard-award…

Broughty Ferry Lifeboats Busiest in Scotland

25th January 2015

The volunteer crews at Broughty Ferry lifeboat station made more life-saving call-outs last year than any other 
station in Scotland.  It had the busiest boats for the fourth year in succession during what was a record-breaking 12 months for the RNLI.

More people than ever before were rescued by crews in Scotland, according to the charity’s latest official figures. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution said that 1,175 people were rescued in 2014, compared with 1,008 the previous year.The number of people whose lives were “saved” by the actions of the country’s 47 lifeboat stations also doubled.

Broughty Ferry responded to 74 shouts on the Tay and along the east coast — though the number of call-outs in fact peaked at 104 in 2011 and 2013.

Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Rescues Tourist Stranded on Sandbank

23rd January 2015

A lifeboat was sent to rescue a tourist after he became stranded on a sandbank at a popular beach. The rescue came in the nick of time, as a lifeboat spokesman said the man would have been in "serious danger" if the tide had risen any further.

It is understood the man, who is in his 40s, became stranded after walking out onto the sand and then the tide came in behind him, cutting him off from dry land.  The incident happened at the mouth of the River Eden, at West Sands in St Andrews.

Kinloss Rescue Coordination Centre Closure Announced

11th December 2014

The search and rescue co-ordination centre at Kinloss in Moray is to close, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

A total of 27 RAF posts and 10 civilian posts are said to be affected by the relocation to the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham.  The Kinloss centre co-ordinates RAF, Royal Navy and Coastguard search and rescue helicopters, as well as the RAF mountain rescue service.

SNP Moray MP Angus Robertson described the news as ''devastating".He said it was "the latest in a series of disproportionate MoD cuts to defence bases, capabilities and personnel".  The MoD said there would be no compulsory military redundancies as a result of the closure, and personnel would be assigned to other duties across the UK. For BBC News story click here

Coastwatch Tay adds Bicycle Response to their Community Safety assets.

17th July 2014

Coastwatch Tay have added a bicycle response unit to their community safety patrol.  This mountain bike asset which is equipped with first aid, rescue throw lines, survival bags, VHF marine radio comms, binoculars, bearing compass, GPS, charts & maps will allow coastal safety officers to provide immediate assistance and to spot, plot and report incidents to the MCA and other agencies.

Coastwatch Tay Station manager Gareth Norman said, this new bicycle initiative will improved community relations, have cost savings implications to our charity and see faster officer response times and obvious environmental benefits.

The bike will allow access to areas such as the coastal footpaths which runs from Broughty Ferry to Monifieth and the nature reserves in our area. The bike unit has already been deployed in a  missing person search on Friday 18th & Sat 19th July and allowed safety  patrol officers to access and search areas quickly and effectively.  Volunteers have also undertaken bicycle safety training. 

Coastwatch Scotland Irvine Unit attend Fullerton open day.

16th November 2013

Coastwatch Scotland Irvine unit attended the Fullarton centre open day today taking the opportunity to recruit volunteers and inform the community about the future growth plans and development Coastwatch Scotland have for the local Pilot house as a watch tower from which to serve the community.

Head of Unit Billy Lamb and Deputy HoU Carolyn Douglas meet Councillor Ruth Maguire at the Fullarton Centre.

Coastwatch Scotland establish first section on Firth of Forth at St. Monans, Fife.

17th October 2013

Coastwatch Scotland are pleased to announce the formation of a watch section capability on the Firth of Forth at St Monans, Fife.  We are pleased to welcome Mr John Kinsman who served for 8 years as an auxiliary coastguard as section leader and our local representative. It is hoped that the Forth - St Monans unit will grow and expand into nearby Pittenweem and Anstruther.

Coastwatch Tay adds Lifepak CR Plus AED to their emergency response equipment.

6th August 2013

After months of serious fundraising by Coastwatch Tay volunteers, we are pleased to announce that we now hold an automated external defibrillator (AED).

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layman. Coastwatch Tay volunteer Kevin Howieson and Station Manager Gareth Norman have undergone training in the use of AED.

FM urges fishermen to ‘stay safe on the seas

14th June 2013

Calls on industry to sign up for life-jacket initiative ahead of SFF conference.  The first of 5,000 bespoke life-jackets to be produced for Scotland’s fishermen as part of a £438,000 life-saving safety project has been officially handed over to the fishing industry by First Minister Alex Salmond.

During a visit to Anstruther Harbour ahead of his appearance at the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the First Minister inspected the prototype personal floatation device that will be given to every commercial fisherman in Scotland who completes the correct safety certification.

Mr Salmond also used his visit to urge all of Scotland’s fishermen to “stay safe on the seas” by signing up for the scheme and receiving the free life jacket as part of ongoing efforts to drive up safety standards in an industry that faces dangerous conditions every working day of the year.

The life-jacket initiative, led by the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation, was launched earlier this year to encourage fishermen to wear personal floatation devices and raise awareness of the importance of safety in the industry. It is funded by £306,000 from the Scottish Government and European Fisheries Fund and £132,000 from the Federation via the Scottish Fisherman’s Trust and the UK Fisheries Offshore Oil & Gas Trust Fund.


22nd February 2013

101 is the new number to contact the police when it’s less urgent than 999.
The 101 non-emergency number will make it quicker and easier for you to contact the police when you don’t need an emergency response, for example to:

speak to your local police officer
report a crime that’s already happened, such as a theft or damage to property
get crime prevention advice
make us aware of any policing issues in your area

101 will replace current police non-emergency numbers. It provides one easy-to-remember number to contact the police wherever you are in Scotland, or elsewhere in the UK.

The 101 non-emergency number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It costs a flat rate of 15p per call from both landline and mobile networks, no matter how long you are on the phone or what time of day it is.
When you dial 101, the system will determine your location and connect you to the service centre covering your area.
By having one easy to remember number, 101 should make the police more accessible while reducing pressure on the 999 system.

Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech-impaired callers can access the service via TextRelay on 1 800 1 101.In an emergency always dial 999 - when a life is in danger, a crime is in progress or a suspect is nearby


16th January 2013

Tayside Police are renewing an appeal for information after a break-in to Sea and Shore Chandlers, Broughty Ferry Road, Dundee last week.

Three outboard engines were stolen from boats within a yard sometime between 9pm and 11pm on Wednesday, January 9.  Officers are keen to trace four men who were seen in the area at the time and driving a white Ford Transit van.

Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or any police officer. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

THEFT AND vandalism of hundreds of pounds of vital rescue equipment from Dundee’s coastline is putting lives at risk.

8th January 2013

Coastwatch Scotland says public life-saving equipment continues to be stolen or thrown into the river, wasting money and risking public safety.  Equipment has been replaced on more than 60 occasions since April at a cost of about £1,600.

Gareth Norman, of Coastwatch Scotland, a volunteer coastal safety and monitoring organisation, said: “Between the airport and Barnhill there are 44 life-saving stations that include a pole and an orange ring. We monitor them because they get stolen or put in the water. 

“There is an ongoing issue, particularly in the area between Compass House and Olympia, where the poles and the rings keep going missing.

“We want to reiterate to people that they are there for a reason. I have personally witnessed one of the pieces of equipment being used by a policeman to rescue someone, so there is potential loss of life if they aren’t there.

“We go around every two weeks to check what is missing and the situation is becoming very serious.

“It is essential equipment. We have a large waterfront and there is potential for people falling off the wall or getting into difficulties.”

Mr Norman said: “The equipment is quite expensive. One of the rings will cost about £40 to replace and there are some areas where they are always missing. “We report it to Tayside Contracts, they replace it and then it has gone again two weeks later.”

Dundee City Council confirmed that since April about £1,600 has been spent replacing 62 items.

City development convener Will Dawson said: “We condemn anyone who steals this vital equipment as they are putting lives at risk.
“This is mindless destruction and could have fatal consequences. This equipment is place for one reason only – to save lives.”

Clyde Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) will close on 18 December 2012.

18th December 2012

There will be no reduction in front line rescue resources, which remain unchanged by the modernisation of HM Coastguard. The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue facilities in the area will be wholly unaffected.

In 2011 the Government announced the new structure for the nationally networked Coastguard Service which will become fully operational in early 2015. When Clyde MRCC closes, Stornoway and Belfast MRCCs assume full responsibility for the west coast of Scotland.

Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said:

Safety is our top priority and I am confident that HM Coastguard will maintain the same high quality search and rescue service as they always have done.

By 2015, HM Coastguards new network will be operational with a national Maritime Operations Centre at its core. We will deliver a more integrated search and rescue coordination service for the UK, taking full advantage of modern communications technology and enabling any centre to support others across the network during busy periods, thus sharing the work load.

Contact arrangements for HM Coastguard in the Clyde area from 18 December onwards:

Emergency Calls:

There is no change to the telephone number members of the public should use to report a maritime or coastal emergency. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and the 999 operator will transfer the call to the appropriate Coastguard Rescue Coordination Centre.

Contacting the Coastguard directly by phone:

Callers who previously contacted Clyde MRCC can contact Stornoway MRCC direct on 01851 702013 or Belfast MRCC on 02891 463933. Clyde MRCC operations room phone number 01475 729988 will be routed to Belfast MRCC.

Contacting the Coastguard by VHF and VHF DSC:

The VHF and MF coverage provided by the coastguard remains unchanged and radio calls to the coastguard will be dealt with by Stornoway Coastguard or Belfast Coastguard depending on the callers location. Mariners are encouraged to save the VHF DSC MMSI number for their nearest coastguard shore station into their DSC unit. The MMSI number for Clyde Coastguard will be diverted to another MRCC.

Maritime Safety Information:

Maritime Safety Information including weather, gale warnings and navigational warnings will continue to be broadcast on the same schedule and frequencies as previously published. For information on these broadcasts, sailors can visit and go to Weather in the Leisure and Seaside section.

Time Expired Pyrotechnics:

Leisure sailors who need to dispose of time expired pyrotechnics can phone any MRCC for advice on their closest drop off point.


Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme

4th November 2012

Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme has just received their 350th stranding report of 2012 is a grey seal pup on Irvine beach Ayrshire. This is timely reminder that we are coming into grey seal pupping season and we expect simlar strandings over the next few months.

SMASS are interested in receiving all these reports, so please report all strandings to

Contact arrangements for HM Coastguard in the Forth area from 28 September onwards:

Emergency Calls:
There is no change for members of the public reporting a maritime or coastal emergency and they should still call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. The 999 operator will transfer the call to the appropriate Coastguard Rescue Coordination Centre.

Contacting the Coastguard directly by phone:

Anyone who previously contacted Forth MRCC for routine communications using the operations room phone number 01333 450666, can continue to use this number which will be routed to Aberdeen MRCC. Alternatively, callers can contact Aberdeen MRCC direct on 01224 592334

Contacting the Coastguard by VHF and VHF DSC:
The VHF and MF coverage provided by the coastguard remains unchanged and radio calls to the coastguard will be dealt with by Aberdeen Coastguard depending on the callers location.
The VHF DSC MMSI number for Forth Coastguard will be diverted to Aberdeen MRCC or mariners should save the MMSI number for their nearest coastguard shore station into their DSC unit.

Maritime Safety Information:

Maritime Safety Information including weather, gale warnings and navigational warnings will continue to be broadcast on the same schedule and frequencies as previously published. For information on these broadcasts, sailors can visit and go to Weather in the Leisure and Seaside section.
Time Expired Pyrotechnics:
Leisure sailors who need to dispose of time expired pyrotechnics should phone Aberdeen MRCC on 01333 450666 for advice on their closest drop off point.

Sad Farewell as HM Coastguard Forth MRCC Closes Down

28th September 2012

It is with a heavy heart that we sadly report the closure of the Forth Coastguard MRCC at Fifeness in Scotland.

The watch officers and staff at Fifeness have over the years been responsible for the saving of numerous lives and Coastwatch Scotland would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone of these professional. loyal and reliable people all the very best for the future.

It is hoped that these new changes implimented by the MCA do not have an adverse effect on rescue coordination and services.


Well Done to Coastwatch Scotland WO Frank Burke

20th July 2012

Coastwatch Scotland would like to extend our congratulations  to watch officer Mr Frank Burke of our Tay unit who has successfully passed the City & Guilds health & safety in the work place, level 2 qualification and Open College Network Accident Investigation & Research level 3. Frank intends to continue studying for advanced Health & Safety qualifications.

Staff told Fife Ness Coastguard Station will close in September

15th June 2012 - Courier & Advertiser News story.

Hopes were dashed that the station would remain operational until the end of March 2013 during crunch talks on Wednesday.

The Coastguard Agency's head of maritime operations, Keith Oliver, revealed the date at a meeting with staff and union leaders.

Steve Quinn, president of the coastguard section of the Public and Commercial Services Union, who was at the meeting, said: ''The date was unexpected. Staff only found out this morning.

''Of course, we were told the closure would be in this financial year, but we had no idea it was going to be this soon. Obviously we had hoped the station would remain open until nearer the end of the financial year.''

The closure is part of a Government cost-cutting exercise. Coalition ministers hope to save £7.5 million a year by shutting 10 coastguard stations throughout the UK.

Mr Quinn told the Courier that the mood of the staff was ''one of resignation''.

Watch manager Gordon Downard said: "The meeting went on for about four or five hours. There was a range of issues that had to be discussed, not least the impact of the closure on staff.

"There are 12 full-time and two admin staff who are either being transferred to other stations or we can take voluntary redundancy.

"I'll be taking redundancy and going. I've been in the job for 23 years. It's sad that I have to go off into the sunset but I suppose we all have to move with the times."

Fife Ness covers 344 miles of coastline from Montrose to the north of England. It is expected that the area's waters will be watched over by stations in Aberdeen and the north of England beyond September.

PCS Union has suggested the closure of Fife Ness could cost lives and strikes have been scheduled.

Steve Quinn said: "Coastguard cuts would mean the loss of life-saving local knowledge around our coastline. PCS members in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are taking a week-long series of short walkouts against the plans.

"Staff at Fife Ness now know their station will close on September 28, but we're still encouraging them to take industrial action. PCS will continue to fight for better pay, conditions and pensions for the staff that transfer to other stations."

Coastwatch Scotland review child and vulnerable adult protection policy
24th February 2012

CWS Committee of Management have along with assistance from the Volunteer Bureau reviewed our Child & Vulnerable adults policy which we have posted below.CWS Child Protection Policy 1.pdfCWS Policy on Protecting Children and.pdf

Hurricane Force winds bring down Coastwatch flag pole
24th January 2012

After surviving the hurricane force winds which caused so much destruction across Scotland on the 8th December 2011 we were battered once again on 3rd January 2012.  This time our modest home made flag pole could take the strain no more and upon arrival at our operations base our volunteer crew found the pole broken in two.

At our next meeting we talked about the cost of buying and erecting a proper flag pole which we hope will withstand the high winds experienced at our coastal base. In closing the discussion, and after bringing our treasurer  round with smelling salts ;) our Head of Unit asked all present to keep their eyes open and see if we could maybe have one donated.

The old adage,' be careful what you wish for' comes to mind, as in less than twenty four hours our Volunteer Frank Burke had made contact with the recycling folks at his place of employment who had found not one pole, but three! 

We are pleased to announce that the Coastwatch flag flies high once again on our 'new' 4m recycled firbeglass pole.

We would like to express our thanks to our volunteer Frank Burke and the management at Quaker Oats Mill, Cupar, Fife.

Safety concerns over Coastguard closures

22nd November 2011

Scotland has been sold short by the UK Government's announcement to cut vital lifesaving coastguard services, Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said today.

Lives could be put in danger by the closure of Clyde and Forth coastguard coordination centers, downsizing of the Aberdeen station, and the consequent loss of vital local knowledge.

Responding to the decision taken by the UK Government's review of Marine Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), Mr Lochhead said:

"While I'm pleased that the decision to retain Shetland and Stornoway stations has been finalised, I am deeply concerned by confirmation of the decision to close Clyde and Forth MRCCs, given the importance of our maritime industry. These decisions taken by number crunchers in London pose an unacceptable risk to both lives and our precious marine environment.

"With these being the first UK stations to close, it's unacceptable that Scotland will be the guinea pig for UK Government plans that put saving money ahead of saving lives. These stations cover large and complex areas of our beautiful, but sometimes dangerous, coastline and I remain unconvinced that a reduced number of stations will be able to provide the appropriate level of cover.

"This concern is exacerbated by plans to reduce staffing for some stations, including Aberdeen where we are extremely worried about the impact this could have on the ability to respond to a major oil and gas incident in the North Sea. More than 30 years of expertise in dealing with offshore incidents cannot be replicated elsewhere in the UK, so it is crucial this centre remains fully staffed at least at current levels and the central point for any response to a north sea incident.
"As we have indicated throughout this consultation process, with some 60 per cent of UK seas, it makes no sense that Scotland is left with just a third of the MRCCs. This reaffirms our belief that the UK Government must devolve this issue to Scotland."

UK Government plans for the Coastguard Service will see the Scotland's Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres cut from five to three. The changes will be introduced over a four year period, starting from 2012/13. Scottish Ministers were not consulted prior to the original proposals being published.

Under the UK Government proposals announced today, Clyde and Forth MRCCs will close and Aberdeen MRCC will operate with a reduced number of staff.

UK Government plans that may impact on maritime safety also include:

Reviewing the Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Kinloss

Intention to remove the two Emergency Towing Vessels

Scrapping the Nimrod fleet

Welcome Onboard

1st November 2011

Coastwatch Scotland are pleased to welcome onboard Mr Colin Topping as our Communications Officer.

Colin has serving in the merchant navy & was a Lieutenant in the Tay Division RNR - HMS Camperdown.
He is an instructor, assessor and examiner for the GMDSS short range certificate (VHF marine radio operator licence) and has held an amateur transmitting licence for over thirty years having contributed technical articles for several radio magazines.  

As a former member of the Radio Amateur Radio Network (RAYNET) he has participated in several major emergency exercises.

UK cuts put Scotland’s coastline at risk

29th September 2011

Scotland's coastline and marine environment are now at risk following the UK Government's removal from service today of our emergency towing vessels said Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead.

The removal of the tugs is the first in a long-line of proposed cuts by Westminster under the guise of modernisation, which if taken forward will leave worrying gaps in service provision.

Concern has escalated this week over the cumulative impact of these uncoordinated proposals including the downgrading of Aberdeen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) which could see decades of irreplaceable expertise in dealing with incidents in the North Sea discarded.

Mr Lochhead said:
"The loss of our emergency towing vessel today is of huge concern and could be back to haunt UK Ministers, should a serious incident occur. The UK Government have scrapped this vital service without putting any alternative in place. That is unacceptable and they must be held to account before it is too late. It would be an utter tragedy if questions were only to be raised after an event.

"The Scottish Government has made several representations to the UK Government on this issue.
"There is also growing concern the cumulative impact of these uncoordinated proposals will put lives at risk and seriously hamper Scotland's ability to deal with emergency situations, particularly in relation to the Oil and Gas sector.

"The experience and skills currently available at the Aberdeen MRCC cannot be replicated elsewhere in the UK and so it is crucial this centre remains fully staffed and the centre point for any response to an incident in the North Sea. I reiterate my call for the UK shipping Minister Mike Penning to visit this fantastic resource to see first-hand the work that goes on.

"We must be absolutely sure that any modernisation of our maritime safety services is carried out to improve the safety of our maritime workers and give the agencies involved the tools they need to respond. It is vital that an adequate level of protection for our spectacular coastline and precious marine environment is maintained.
"As I said earlier this week, the UK Government's current approach to modernising these services is uncoordinated at best. With proposed cuts across the country including downgrading Aberdeen MRCC and closure of the Forth and Clyde coastguard services, as well as ongoing uncertainty over the Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Kinloss, serious questions must be asked of the UK Government about how this is being handled. The cuts to Scotland's hugely important maritime rescue services begin today. Where do they end?"

Coastwatch Tay visits St. Andrews Coastguard Station & Sector Manager

3rd September 2011

As part of our continued close liaison with HM Coastguard, Coastwatch Tay, Head of Unit visited Sector Manager, Mr Trevor Robertson (Robbie) at his office in St. Andrews Coastguard Station.  This two hour meeting allowed Coastwatch Tay to discuss a variety of operational topics and to update Mr Robertson on developments within Coastwatch Scotland.

We Say Farewell & Rest In Peace to a Friend

June 2011


Coastwatch Tay, Head of Unit along with former members of the Tay Unit MVS, joined family and friends of the late Peter Osgood aboard MV Marigot for a short religious ceremony and scattering of ashes.

Petty Officer MVS, Peter Osgood was an active member of the Tay unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service had served his country in a life at sea with the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy and sailed on a wide variety of vessels from the aircraft carrier Indefatigable to the Queen Mary and the Richmond Castle.
Amongst many other things of note in his life (...and that made a good tale) he had the unenviable distinction of being nearly blown up three times...once by a doodlebug, once by a Japanese Kamikaze pilot,  and then yet again in the Guildford pub bombing.

On another day, years after, over another pint, he was asked somewhat naively by someone younger than himself what that was like, he replied....”I didn’t li-ike it. I went to another pub,.didn’t I?

Meet Coastwatch Tay at Broughty Ferry Harbour 2pm on Sunday 19th June 2011

17th June 2011

Coastwatch Tay will have volunteers and a static safety display at the Tayside Police organised safety day at Broughty Ferry harbour on Sunday 19th June 2011 at 2pm to 5pm.

Organisations like RNLI, HM Coastguard, Tayside Police, Coastwatch Tay and local jet ski, boat clubs will be in attendance.

If you wish to find out about Coastwatch then please along for a chat.


Another Two Coastwatch Tay volunteers gains VHF DSC Radio Operators Licence

12th June 2011

We are pleased to announce that trainee watchkeepers Frank Burke and Derek Milton have gained the certificate of competence in radiotelephony GMDSS short range certificate (SRC). This certificate authorises the holder to use a radiotelephone on the VHF international frequencies of the Maritime Mobile band including channel 70 for digital selective callings.

Coaswatch Tay would like to thank RYA Instructor/Examiner, Mr Colin Topping for his continued support, time and expert instruction.

Project Kraken launched in Tayside Police area

10th May 2011

Coastwatch Tay has become a partner organisation in 
Project Kraken which is a national initiative set up to increase vigilance in our maritime environment and assist the protection of our communities from terrorism and serious organised crime and to create a hostile environment to criminals wishing to disrupt our every day lives. 

Coastwatch Tay have busy start to the season 2011

8th April 2011

As the sun manages to break through and the weather starts to get better Coastwatch Tay and the emergency services have seen a busy start of the 2011 season.  In the space of three days Coastwatch Tay have initiated two rescue calls to the MCA. Check out the link to the Courier & Advertiser newspaper for further details.

New water incident database reveals 405 deaths across the UK

1st April 2011

More than 400 people died from accidents or natural causes in water across the UK in 2009, according to the first report from a new incident database.
WAID (the Water Incident Database) was developed by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) to enable greater detail and volume in the collection of data on fatal and non-fatal drowning, other water-related deaths and injuries, and near misses.

Of the 405 fatalities in 2009, more than half (213) came as a result of incidents in inland waters, which include rivers, lakes, lochs, reservoirs, canals and ponds. Nearly a quarter (99) happened at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port, while one in seven deaths (57) happened further out at sea. There were 19 deaths as a result of incidents in baths, five in swimming pools and one involving a water container. Eleven people died in places that are not usually watercourses, for example flooded areas.

Under-19s accounted for 59 of the fatalities, of whom 14 died as a result of incidents in rivers (predominantly teenagers), seven in baths (mostly 0-2 year olds) and six in ponds.

Deaths happened during a wide variety of water-based activities. Forty-eight of those who died were swimming at the time of the incident, 27 were angling and 20 were sub aqua diving. The most commonly-reported activity, however, which accounted for 78 fatalities, was someone entering the water while walking or running, for example to cool off or by falling.

A further 17 fatalities happened after motor vehicles entered water.

Saturday was the most common day and August the most common month for fatalities to occur.

David Walker, a member of the NWSF and operations manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “As the figures for 2009 sadly reveal, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK. WAID will greatly enhance our understanding of water-related incidents that claim lives and cause injuries across the UK each year.

Managing water risks is all about a balance between giving people freedom to make informed choices about how to enjoy water and the impact those choices have on society in general. By providing better information, WAID will assist in striking that balance and enable us to develop more effective prevention work. Working together to collect and share data means WAID members and communities will be able to better manage risks than if they worked alone.”   
WAID was developed by NWSF members, including: national partners - British Waterways, British Sub Aqua Club, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RoSPA and Royal Life Saving Society; sports governing bodies; and regional and local organisations, including Cornwall Council. It has been developed in partnership with the Department for Transport.

Coastwatch Tay volunteers attend British Heart Foundation - Heartstart course

27th March 2011

Coastwatch Tay volunteers attended the annual one day heartstart emergency life support (ELS) course organised by Civil Defence Scotland. The course provided instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), recovery position, choking, serious bleeding control and dealing with a suspected heart attack. We would like to thank Scottish Ambulance Service paramedic Mr John Nattress for his expert instruction.

Coastwatch Tay volunteer commences RYA 2 powerboat coxswain training

19th March 2011

Coastwatch Tay volunteer Lynn Bell has commenced her training with local maritime charity 
Tay Maritime Action  for the RYA 2 powerboat coxswain certificate. Lynn who is a complete novice has been attending evening lessons and Sunday afloat training in order to gain experience for the forthcoming two day training and assessment.

Lynn (with hat on) takes the helm of 'Badger'a 34ft Nelson class launch powered by twin 225hp turbo engines. Lynn practices coming alongside under the watchful eye of Taymara trainer Balinda.

Coastwatch Tay visits Coastwatch Berwick Station

5 February 2011

Volunteers from Coastwatch Tay travelled south into England to visit our nearest coastwatch friends at Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland. Our team were given a very informative talk and tour of the Coastwatch Berwick lookout by Station Manager Lesley Wooler. We would like to thank Lesley and his crew for their hospitality and Mrs Wooler for providing a lovely lunch.

HM Coastguard Sector Manager visits Coastwatch Tay

27 January 2011

Whilst out touring his operational 'patch' HM Coastguard Sector Manager, Mr Trevor Robertson (Robbie) popped into Coastwatch Tay base for a coffee and informal chat. Head of Unit, Gareth Norman took the opportunity to give Mr Robertson an update about CW Tay incident log to date, current capabilities, training, and development plans for 2011.

Mr Robertson gave a brief about local developments of HM Coastguard and provided some very useful suggestions for the development of CW Tay in order to establish a closer working relationship with HM Coastguard.

Coastwatch Tay volunteer gains VHF DSC Radio Operators Licence

16 January 2010

We are pleased to announce that trainee watchkeeper  Lynn Bell has gained the certificate of competence in radiotelephony GMDSS short range certificate (SRC). This certificate authorises the holder to use a radiotelephone on the VHF international frequencies of the Maritime Mobile band including channel 70 for digital selective callings.

Coaswatch Tay would like to thank RYA Instructor/Examiner, Mr Colin Topping for his continued support, time and expert instruction.

Broughty Ferry 'Dook' 2011

01 January 2011

For the second consecutive year Coastwatch Tay volunteers were in attendance keeping watch over the crowds at the annual Broughty Ferry harbour 'Dook' event.  This event which attracts approx 100 participants and approx 3000+ spectators,  has become an annual duty for CW Tay.

At this years event CW vounteers were called to provide first aid to an adult female who had collapsed outside Broughty Ferry castle.



Happy New Year

31 December 2010

Coastwatch Tay would like to take this opportunity to wish all our volunteers and supporters a happy, prosperous New Year and thank you for your tremendous support in 2010.
2011 promises to be an even busier year so keep an eye out for more to come!

Broughty Ferry Harbour Freezing Over

19 December 2010

As the severe weather continues and the temperature continues to drop, some part of the River Tay and Broughty Ferry harbour is starting to freeze!!
Coastwatch Tay volunteers have been keeping a very close watch on the harbour area incase anyone falls into the freezing water or attempts to walk on the ice.


Coastwatch Tay volunteers gain HSE First Aid certification

04 September 2010

We would like to congratulate trainee watchkeeper Lynn Bell who has successfully completed a Red Cross first aid course. Congratulations also go to CW Tay Head of Unit Gareth Norman who successfully completed an HSE offshore first aid certificate and a Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) qualification. 


30th September 2009

Coastwatch Tay Head of Unit, Mr Gareth Norman holds meeting in Aberdeen with Mr Colin Neason from National Coastwatch Institution to explore possible membership for CW Tay. After a long discussion Mr Neason explained that NCI have no immediate plans to develop into Scotland. 

25th July 2009

Coastwatch Tay watch keepers alert emergency services to child in distress of Broughty Ferry Castle. Click here for news report 




Images & Content © Copyright 2009 - 2017 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 does not operate stations in Scotland.
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