Coastwatch 2020

Did you know that in the 44 weeks Exmouth NCI were able to be operational during 2020, we dealt with 55 incidents?
This makes our station the second busiest out of all NCI’s 56 stations, up and around the coast of England and Wales; even though our station was closed for two months at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and then we were single-manned watches for the remainder of the year.
All our watchkeepers have had to adapt to the challenges presented by Covid-19 and we would like to thank everyone for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm during these challenging times.

Incident – Hazard To Shipping

After failing to contact Harbour Master, advised HMCG of potential hazard in shipping channel. Later managed to contact HM and update position of hazard.

Local Notice to Mariners 02/21

Notice is given that the small sailing vessel that was sunk on its mooring at position 50° 37.44 N – 03° 26.39 W near Starcross has been removed.

Notice 01/21 is hereby cancelled.

Local Notice to Mariners 01/21

Notice is given that a small sailing vessel has sunk on its mooring near Starcross.

Position: 50° 37.44 N – 3° 26.39 W and mariners should navigate with caution in the area.

The sunken craft will be removed as soon as possible.

Incident – Kite Surfers In Difficulty

Watchkeeper contacted by HMCG for sighting of kite surfer reported in difficulty off Pole Sands. Confirmed sighting of three kite surfers in no apparent difficulty.

Statistics – 2020

With the lookout closed for two months during the national lockdown and with single crewed watches thereafter, this was one of our busiest years in terms of incidents but with slightly fewer recorded vessels than 2019. All in all 2020 was quite an extraordinary year.



The number of craft which passed our lookout and were recorded by our watchkeepers are as follows:

Commercial vessels – 1,913

Leisure vessels – 12,145

Military – 5

Other – 319

Total – 14,382

We were involved in 56 incidents where we had contact with HM Coast Guard or other SAR/Emergency services.

We also recorded 327 calls to us on VHF CH65 made by mariners to our facility for radio checks or other information.




COVID-19 Notice to all Water Users

On Monday 4 January, the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown to counter the steep rise in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in England.

The new restrictions become law on Wednesday 6 January, but people should follow them as of now.

As a reminder and In line with this guidance the Government have asked us to stay at home and only to go out for the reasons set out in law. More information about what is and isn’t allowed is available on the Government’s website.

There is not yet any specific advice on whether this is applicable to watersports and other marine leisure activities and we are seeking clarification on this from the British Ports Association. Specific guidance is expected shortly.

Until we have confirmation, we would ask that people follow the Government guidelines and Sport England’s advice for sporting activity.

Please note that we do not believe that general boat maintenance constitutes sport or physical activity, therefore work of this type should not be undertaken in boat yards and yacht clubs.

The overall message is to stay at home and stay safe.

Any queries please contact the harbour office on 01395 223 265 or email

Grahame Forshaw MBE MNI

Harbour Master

Exeter Port Authority

Incident – Log Adrift

Following observation of IFV taking avoiding action, watchkeeper contacted HMCG to report large tree trunk (5 – 6m long) in channel causing potential danger to shipping. HMCG issued Warning to Mariners.