Coastwatch Redcar is a registered charity operating from the lookout station on the top floor of the Zetland Lifeboat Museum on the Esplanade in Redcar. Originally the building was occupied by HM Coastguard until the early 90’s when they re-located to the Tees and later the Tyne. The nearest CGOC (Coastguard Operational Centre) is now Humber Coastguard operating from Bridlington.
As a coastal surveillance station Coastwatch still maintains a visual watch on our area of the coast and liaises with Humber on any potential maritime incidents. Local fishing boats leisure craft, divers, wind surfers, PWC’s (Jet Skis), horse riders and persons walking the rocks are all users of the water and the foreshore. We also liaise with all the emergency services, local authority and the local shop link. In addition to visual watches we maintain VHF radio monitoring and modern radar surveillance, weather recording and local marine traffic logging.
The station is manned 365 days a year by trained volunteers working regular two or four hour watches, we pride ourselves in a total volunteer work force and receive no government or local authority funding. Fund raising is on a local level and is sourced from the public and local business. We would not survive as a charity if it were not for the generosity of the local community. The only exceptions to local fundraising have been grants for specific purposes; for example over the last three years we raised sufficient in grant applications to rebuild the lookout building, install an internal kitewinder staircase, modernise the office into a training facility and refurbish the kitchen, washroom and toilet facilities.
Coastwatch has been maintaining a presence on Redcar’s sea front since the mid 90’s and currently we are in a position to take on new volunteers. Maritime experience is helpful though not an essential requirement as full training is given. Training is in house, working alongside senior watchkeepers with some additional time spent with our training officer. Anyone interested can give us a call for an application form or call in the station and see how we operate.