Lookout tower for Porthcawl sea watchers

Old Pilot Lookout TowerImage copyright
Bridgend council

Volunteers are to start weekend watches of the Porthcawl coast after taking over a 150-year-old lookout tower.

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) will staff the Old Pilot Lookout Tower in the town, in Bridgend county, to help spot dangers at sea.

The Grade II-listed waterfront tower has been refitted as a base for the volunteers.

The watches will start in the summer, amid hopes of eventually running the service every day.

The NCI is a voluntary organisation set up to keep watch around the UK’s coast, looking out for distress flares, overturned boats and those in trouble at sea.

Image copyright
Bridgend council

Volunteers also monitor radio channels and are trained to deal with emergencies.

Station manager Phillip Jones said: “We’ve been in training now for a while and we’re looking forward to running watches on weekends to begin with, up until 8pm in the evening, and eventually as more watch-keepers become qualified, we’ll be operational every day of the year including Christmas Day.”

The Old Pilot Lookout Tower has been given replacement windows, doors and roofing, while the external staircase has also been renewed.

Bridgend council has now handed the tower over to the group.

It will be the base for 25 volunteers, most of whom are from Porthcawl.

It comes after the Royal National Lifeboat Institution announced lifeguards would patrol four of Porthcawl’s beaches from this summer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-35946172