Coastwatch on the lookout for new station

The Watch Tower at Winthorpe.
The Watch Tower at Winthorpe.

The National Coastwatch Institution’s Skegness lookout is to relocate after becoming ‘operationally impossible’ to continue from the current site.

A statement from the NCI read: “Following expiry of the original lease on the Old Coastguard Tower, Winthorpe Avenue, Skegness, watchkeepers at NCI Skegness are having to vacate these premises by the end of February. In spite of protracted attempts at dialogue, the terms of the new lease were considered too onerous on the charity, making it financially unwise to accept. It is therefore operationally impossible for NCI to continue providing visual surveillance services from this location. The search for a permanent alternative location for the lookout in the Skegness area is already under way, with other sites and potential building options being considered.”

The watchroom tower is located on top of The View, bar and restaurant, Winthorpe.

Deputy station manager Ian Whalley said: “Im very sad to leave the location, because it was purpse-built as a coastguard station. However, it is a given that we will be here and start operating in Skegness again, as soon as we can.

“Where we are now is a prime location, because we need height, to see the horizon and clear north and south vision, the number of locations available to us are few.”

“The demand for our service is considerable, but now, we have some significant and substantial work ahead of us, as we dismantle our radio and telescope equipment,” he said.

“Although services cannot be fully operational, in the mean time, so we can operate a ‘seamless’ service, without a total ‘break’ in service, ELDC have allowed us to use a mobile service from Skegness promenade, where we can keep watch, albeit from a car. This is of course a very temporary substitute, as it is impossible for us to get the height we require.”

The View declined to comment.