New inshore waters forecast service
The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) has been testing a new service for yachtsmen. It is offering a repeat of the inshore waters forecast and performing radio checks when contacted via VHF radio, relieving the Coastguard of some routine traffic. The six-month trial, in conjunction with HM Coastguard, is currently under review.
Head of maritime operations at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Julie-anne Wood, said the NCI ‘bring very welcome eyes and ears’ in support of its search and rescue activities. ‘As a supplement to the service HM Coastguard provides, the NCI have assisted with radio checks and inshore weather forecasts on VHF Channel 65 when requested by mariners, only when mariners have not been able to raise HM Coastguard.’
The trial does not replace the Coastguards three-hourly MSI transmissions.
Tim Colquhoun of the NCI invited sailors to make better use of their services. ‘We watch yachts from the coastal stations and report incidents directly to the Coastguard,’ he said.
Sailors can use the NCI’S VHF Channel 65 for radio checks