Watchkeepers on Shoreham Beach are to get windscreen wipers to improve visibility.
Volunteers at the National Coastwatch Institution’s lookout station, at the entrance to Shoreham Harbour, are celebrating after winning £4,300, their full Aviva Community Fund bid.
The news follows the award of £500 from the Policy Property Act Fund, as reported in this week’s Shoreham Herald.
Station manager Laurie Hays said: “Views through the windows on rainy day can cause problems with monitoring and plotting a distress situation at sea or on the beach.
“With the new windscreen wipers, we will now have clear view to enable us to help in keeping seafarers safe.”
The project application also included a new CCTV system to update observation techniques.
Laurie explained: “The CCTV system will enable us to record historical movements of vessels leaving and entering the harbour, and help us in recording vessel movements.
“When we are involved in a search and rescue situation, the lookout team are involved with plotting and reporting to UK Coastguard, the CCTV system will carry on recording vessel movements, and these could be viewed later, if needed, in any other incident, or information requested by coastguard, RNLI, Border Force, police, ambulance, etc. The system will also help in recordings when we are closed at night.
“Also, to help Shoreham Fort and the Shoreham community, Coastwatch will dedicate one of the cameras to view and record a 24-hour security surveillance of the fort.”
Over the past nine years, NCI Shoreham has assisted in spotting, plotting and reporting incidents at sea. Part of the National Search and Rescue Organisation, the watchkeepers are proud to be the eyes and ears of the coastguard along the coast.
The Aviva project started in October, when NCI Shoreham entered its project New windscreen Wipers and a CCTV System for public votes over the six-week period.
Laurie said: “Although NCI is a national charity controlled by a board of trustees and with a constitution agreed by the Charities Commission, each watch station is entirely responsible for its own management and funding, relying solely on the goodwill and generosity of the local community.
“We have had an excellent response for funding from local charitable foundations and are so indebted to them, and we decided we should try for donations from international companies, thus entering the Aviva project.