Coastwatch Look-Out Station
National Coastwatch Institution
Lyme Bay - Burton Cliff
Thanks to Billy Bragg and Mary-Lou Sturridge, the former director of the Groucho Club, the National Coastwatch Institution have been able to open their forty-fourth Coastwatch Station at Burton Cliff, overlooking Lyme Bay.
The station covers a section of the most popular 80 miles of coast between existing NCI stations at Portland Bill to the east and Exmouth to the west. Surveys have shown that between 2008 and 2010, there have been 15 serious incidents in the sixteen miles of Chesil Beach area alone. The West Bay harbourmaster and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute have both reported significant increases in small boat, windsurfer and other personal watercraft activity. Since the area became known as the Jurassic Coast and was made a World Heritage site, there has been a significant increase in the number of people using the beach and walking the coast.
The NCI exists because they understand that trained watch-keepers can spot things like distress flares, an overturned boat, or a walker stranded on the cliffs, which computers and radar cannot.
Land for the station has been provided by Mary-Lou Sturridge of the Burton Cliff Hotel. The musician Billy Bragg and retired Air Marshall Sir Christopher Colville, now the Chairman of Westland Helicopters, both volunteered to fund raise for the project. The National Coastwatch Institute is a charity and more about its work can be found on their website: www.nci.org.uk. If you wish to become involved as a potential watchkeeper, please contact William Knapman on 01308 897808 or e-mail: william.knapman @nci.org.uk. For more general information, contact the NCI Lyme Bay Station Manager on 01308 482605 or email: email@example.com.