As of October it will be much easier for seafarers to obtain information and make contact with the land thanks to a new VHF radio channel that will be run by the National Coastguard Institution (NCI), including on the Lizard Peninsula.
The NCI will gain exclusive use of Channel 65 as of October 1, which was offered to them by Ofcom.
The channel will give all users of the sea a way of contacting the NCI stations directly. They will now be able to easily access information such as weather reports as well as the NCI being able to communicate information requests.
There are a total of 50 NCI Stations around the coast of England and Wales, 13 of which are in Cornwall including Bass Point at The Lizard and Nare Point near Manaccan.
Stations will be able to respond to requests from passing, as well as local, sailing craft and fishing vessels for radio checks and actual weather/sea state conditions.
They will also be able also to provide on-request information on a range of local facilities, for example, local moorings, charted anchorages, water taxi contact details and local hazards.
NCI chairman Alan Richards said: “NCI has long aspired to have the use of a dedicated marine VHF channel to facilitate radio communications between stations and seafarers.
“This is a major milestone for us, nor least as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the start of our organisation. It is indeed a significant and welcome step forward for NCI and is an acknowledgement of our professional capability to communicate effectively with all who use our coastal waters and with our Search and Rescue partners at local and national level.”
West Cornwall MP and patron, Andrew George, passed on his congratulations during a recent visit to the St Ives. He said: “I offer my congratulations to the NCI on obtaining the VHF channel. This is a significant development for the NCI. The confirmation of a dedicated VHF channel adds yet another string to the bow to this impressive voluntary organisation.
“It was my privilege to visit the St Ives branch of the NCI and once again witness the vital contribution that the NCI makes to safety around our coasts. Obtaining an exclusive VHF channel is a feather in their cap and a string to their bow.”
The NCI was set up in 1994 and has 50 stations around the coast of England and Wales, which are all manned by 2,000 volunteers.