Old Pi­lot’s Tower joins fight to save coastal lives

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - ABBY BOLTER abby.bolter@waleson­line.co.uk

A COASTAL look-out tower that has been brought back into use is now of­fi­cially among the search and res­cue teams pro­tect­ing the coast.

The Old Pi­lot’s Look­out Tower on Porth­cawl seafront is be­ing granted De­clared Fa­cil­ity Sta­tus (DFS).

This means it will be part of the search and res­cue or­gan­i­sa­tions reg­is­tered at the Coast Res­cue Co-or­di­na­tion Cen­tre in Mil­ford Haven.

The 150-year-old Grade II-listed tower played an im­por­tant role in both world wars, but fell out of use.

It was re­gen­er­ated thanks to the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund and con­tri­bu­tions from Brid­gend coun­cil, Cadw, the his­toric en­vi­ron­ment ser­vice of the Welsh Gov­ern­ment, and the Na­tional Coast­watch In­sti­tu­tion (NCI). It was of­fi­cially re­opened in 2016.

A team of NCI vol­un­teers now man the tower and keep a watch­ful eye over vis­i­tors, fish­er­man, swim­mers and sailors.

Sta­tion man­ager Phil Styles said the en­thu­si­asm of vol­un­teers is the rea­son for their suc­cess.

“When we man­aged to bring the Look­out Tower back into use we made an ap­peal for vol­un­teers to help us, ex­pect­ing maybe one or two”, he said. “We now have a crew of 43 de­liv­er­ing a cru­cial role pro­vid­ing a look­out along the coast­line ev­ery day through­out the year. We are also of­fi­cially part of the Na­tional Coast­watch In­sti­tu­tion – a char­ity made up of vol­un­teers with 50 sta­tions around the coast­line of Eng­land and Wales.

“We are also ac­tively build­ing up work­ing re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal coast­guard teams as well as hav­ing great sup­port from our next door neigh­bours RNLI Porth­cawl, who have been car­ry­ing out joint train­ing ex­er­cises with us. Next year we are look­ing at how we can link with the RNLI life­guard teams at Trecco Bay, Coney beach, Rest Bay and Ogmore to see how we can con­tinue to make the Porth­cawl coast­line a safer place for all.”

Brid­gend AM Car­wyn Jones said: “It is great news that the Porth­cawl watch sta­tion has been awarded De­clared Fa­cil­ity Sta­tus.

“The many vol­un­teers who give up their time to help spot po­ten­tial dan­gers do a tremen­dous job and are cer­tainly a wel­come pres­ence for peo­ple who visit and use our coast­line for busi­ness and plea­sure.”

Porth­cawl’s Old Pi­lot’s Look­out Tower is now among the search and res­cue or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­tect­ing the South Wales coast

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