Because of our lookout’s unique estuary position, we keep watch over all vessels, both motorised and under sail, in addition to kite surfers, windsurfers, jet skiers, fishermen, divers, canoeists, kayakers, paddle boarders, rowers, beach users and swimmers.
Our regime of continuous training ensures that watchkeepers are kept up to date with the required skills to be a watchkeeper as well as changes in regulations regarding the safety of beach and water users. Watchkeepers work either single or double watches. This currently depends on COVID Governmental Regulations. Watch hours can be from 2 hours up to 3.5 hour watches, depending on the time of the year.
A log is kept of all vessel movements and incidents, and additionally of sightings of marine life, dangerous objects, pollution and suspicious activity.
All watchkeepers are trained on Marine VHF radios to listen for routine and emergency incidents on the water. These radios automatically scan the emergency VHF channel 16 and other relevant channels such as Solent Coastguard’s working channel 67.
Various optical aids are used to provide optimum visual capability from hand-held binoculars to stand telescopes for more detailed work, providing up to 45x magnification.
A plotting table displays a chart of our area, Lyme Bay, from Berry Head around to Straight Point which is used, along with a more detailed chart of the Exe Estuary, on which to plot incidents. We have a multiscreen displaying wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, temperature, tides, swell as well as the current inshore weather and 24 hour weather forecasts for Lyme Bay.
Our web cam ,which provides excellent views of the beach and the estuary, is widely used by sailors, rowers, fishermen, other water sports enthusiasts and visitors as a visual aid to the conditions they can expect on Exmouth seafront.