Coastwatch and disabled sailors team up to ensure safe sailing

Torbay Weekly

Torbay National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) and the Disabled Sailing Association (DSA) Torbay have teamed up to agree a new procedure to make use of local facilities and ensure safe sailing in the Bay.

Now, when the DSA go sailing, they call NCI Torbay on VHF Channel 65, rather than HM Coastguard on VHF Channel 16, to request radio checks and to pass on their cruising intentions or cruising plan.

This information is logged by NCI Torbay, so that DSA vessels ‘Freedom’ and ‘Free Spirit’ can continue their sailing safely within Torbay.

It also supports the scheme, piloted by Solent Coastguard, where mariners requiring a radio check or local weather conditions, are requested to hail NCI on VHF Channel 65 between 10am and 4pm. Their local NCI station will then reply.

HM Coastguard will always be there in an emergency, listening on VHF Channel 16, and
also contactable by dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.

NCI Torbay is one of more than 50 stations around England and Wales with the objective to assist in the protection and preservation of life at sea and along the United Kingdom coastline.

They work closely with other search and rescue teams, providing 'eyes along the coast' by monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility.

When people get into trouble, they are there to alert HM Coastguard and direct the appropriate rescue services to the casualty.

The DSA is a Torquay-based sailing charity, run for the disabled by the disabled, with the aim, wherever possible, to give everybody, no matter what their disability, the opportunity to enjoy the experience of seagoing sailing in a safe environment.