EYES ALONG THE COAST
Liam Mulvin 21 July 2022
The position of Pednvadan Point Lookout near Portscatho in Gerrans Bay. This gives a view out to sea from near due South at Greeb Point to the Northeast at Dodman Point. The horizon from the Lookout is 8 nautical miles with ship superstructure visible over the horizon to 11 nautical miles. On a very clear day, and through the telescope, the twin radio masts at Plymouth can be identified some 30 nautical miles away.
Station Manager, Peter Evans, manages the now thirty strong team of Watch-keepers at Portscatho’s Pednvadan Point, which is arguably the organisation’s smallest lookout (with three people inside, someone must step outside if the chart needs turning over!).
The view to the North East past Nare Head (with Gull Rock outside) and Dodman Point.
The lookout is close to the SW Coast Path. Access is via the footpath which starts just above the slipway to Porthcurnick Beach, Rosevine, Portscatho. Care should be taken on the path, which is uneven and slippery in wet weather.
The last ten years have seen many changes for both the Lookout and for our team that volunteer there. Declared Facility Status was declared in 2008 after being in service since 2001. We are proud to say that as of this year, we still retain that status.
The lookout is constantly being maintained and looked after by our volunteers. Several years ago, we replaced all the original windows with front sloping ones which reduce glare and reflection. It certainly makes the place more professional.
Constant maintenance is a must as the building takes the full brunt of all weathers. Our roof will become the next major project. We are still no nearer getting mains electric or running water, but we adapt with a smile.
We are more “on-line” these days and that has been a huge step forward. We can keep our overwatch now with the added use of A.I.S, and the internet. We also have our own dedicated Channel 65 frequency so don’t be afraid to give us a call if you wish a radio check or want to know the state of the weather or sea in Porthcurnick. Our call sign is simply… Portscatho NCI. Couldn’t be simpler.
The watch keepers are a diverse lot. There are no gender issues; no age issues; no colour or creed issues. So long as you are fit to walk to the Lookout, able to see and hear, and able to be trained, then there is a place for you. Each of us continues to bring individual skills to the team from our lives away from NCI and these can be useful.
However, in a nutshell, our job is to simply ‘spot, plot, and report’. We may still only be a small unit but our work for the Coastguard and S&R services is much appreciated.
We have been instrumental in the last ten years or so in being involved in the saving of lives and it is a satisfying feeling. To us it’s a voluntary job that we are proud of; to those rescued it is a matter of life or death. We are glad to be there for you.
Our work continues and people come forward to become volunteers. We are also indebted to the public, especially the people of Gerrans and Portscatho, who make regular donations towards our annual costs.
As a charity-based group, we are reliant on both volunteers and donations. Without your kind support and assistance in our need over the last ten years we would never have been there with our support and assistance in your time of need.
For that we can only thank you all so very much.