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Adroddiadau Arbennig Special Reports
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Another busy season at the Porth Dinllaen NCI Station

The team of volunteers manning the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) station at Porth Dinllaen are looking back with some satisfaction at the completion of their second summer season following the station opening in May 2010.

The NCI was formed in 1995 following the loss of two fishermen in Cornwall, when they drowned within sight of a recently closed Coastguard lookout station. Local volunteers decided to reopen the staion at Bass Point themselves and the organisation has since become a national charity with over 45 operational stations and many others planned.

Porth Dinllaen was the first station to open in North Wales and a dedicated team of watchkeepers provide cover every day except for Christmas Day. A second North Wales station is also now open at Rhoscolyn on Anglesey and several others are planned, including one at Morfa Bychan overlooking Black Rock and Tremadog Bay.

The purpose of the NCI lookout stations is to keep an observational watch over the seas, beaches and coastal paths, both visually and by monitoring VHF radio calls. The details of any emergencies, distress signals or potentially dangerous incidents are reported to HM Coastguard who then co-ordinate a response from the emergency services, such as the RNLI, rescue helicopter or cliff rescue teams.

Especially at sea even a few minutes can be critical to the survival of a casualty so the accurate identification of an incident together with the exact location can make a real difference. This information, together with local knowledge and details of the current weather and tidal conditions are provided by the NCI.

Visitors to the station are welcome providing an incident is not in progress and the team frequently assist with directions, information on the area and pointing out some of the amazing wildlife that can be seen locally. The Porth Dinllaen station is on a popular and easy walk of about 4km leading from the National Trust car park at Morfa Nefyn, along the beach pausing for refreshments at the Ty Coch Inn, along the coast path to the the Lifeboat Station, up to the Coastwatch lookout on the tip of the headland and then back across the golf course returning to the car park. If you visit at low tide you will almost certainly see some grey seals around Carreg Ddu and possibly bottlenose dolphins in the bay.

Several of the watchkeepers have some martime experience, either from fishing or leisure sailing however it isn’t essential as the organisation provides full training and the team is made up of people of all ages and from varied backgrounds. With new stations planned more volunteers are always needed and anyone who thinks they would like to spend some time enjoying the view from this beautiful location is encouraged to get in touch. The station manager, Tony Kempley, can be contacted by telephone on 01758 720940 or you can get details from the website which is www.nci-northwales.org

Views south-west from the NCI station at Porth Dinllaen


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