Scilly’s Coastwatch To Restart Weekend Operations

telegraph tower 3

Telegraph Tower

The islands’ fledgling Coastwatch group says they now have enough volunteers to start regular weekend services through the summer.

The national organisation, which looks out for mariners in distress, started their first watches last year from the Telegraph Tower on St Mary’s, but put operations on hold in August because of too few volunteers.

But organiser Murray Hodgson says several more people came forward over the winter, doubling their numbers. This means they can staff two four-hour watches each day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, when users are most likely to be out on the water, starting on the 4th May.

These will run every weekend until the end of September.

Murray says other local Coastwatch stations have offered them advice and equipment, including the gift of high quality binoculars and a stand from the Cape Cornwall group. They’ve also made some alterations to the Telegraph Tower to make it more user friendly, he says.

The group feel there isn’t enough demand for their service over the winter when it’s quieter, particularly as Scilly has lots of other water users, like the boatmen, keeping an eye out.

The group are still keen to recruit more watchkeepers and are holding an open evening this Thursday (18th April) in the Church Pavilion, from 5pm to 8pm. Murray says they’ll have posters giving information on the group and they’ll be showing a DVD of Coastwatch in action.

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