Volunteers who are the eyes along the coast will be making sure visitors stay safe in the Skegness area from a new £30,000 lookout.
The new National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) watchstation in the grounds of the Miners’ Retreat in Winthorpe was officially opened on Friday by the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire Jill Hughes, who attended a reception along with other guests including the Mayor of Skegness Coun Dick Edginton and Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police Bill Skelly.
There has been a NCI station in the area since 2004, first at Ingoldmells Point and then the Old Coastguard Tower in Winthorpe. But after the building was sold the watchkeepers started fundraising for new premises.
Deputy watch manager Roger Gilburd said: “This has been a long time coming and is the result of donations from headquarters and the generosity of the community who have supported our fundraising efforts.
“We now have space and excellent facilities for our volunteers, including hi-tech periscopes and monitors – and even a toilet inside the building.”
With Easter just around the corner, the opening of the watchstation has come just in time.
We now have space and excellent facilities for our volunteers, including hi-tech periscopes and monitors – and even a toilet inside the buildingDeputy watch manager Roger Gilburd
Mr Gilburd said: “We have two watchkeepers manning the station every day covering about a three-mile stretch of beach and we look out for such things as inflatables and jet skis.
“You name it, it can happen. We always expect the unexpected.”
Station manager Clive Pouncey said: “Thanks to the hard work of my team and the support of many local people we are delighted to open our new watchstation.
“It provides us with an excellent platform to maintain our visual watch of Skegness beaches and inshore waters and it’s all ready for the start of the summer season.”