Lookout! There is a special Royal visitor about ...

Joseph Bulmer

The Princess Royal made a fleeting visit to Torbay to salute a special band of volunteers.

She visited Torbay's National Coastwatch Institution - a voluntary organisation which provides a visual safety watch along the coastline. She is the Royal Patron of the national charity.

She arrived at the local watch HQ on Torquay's Daddyhole Plain where she was received by the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon, Rear Admiral Chris Snow, who presented NCI Chairman Clive Pouncey, NCI Trustee Dr Chris Aps, and Station Manager of NCI Torbay Chris Arkell.

The Princess met on duty watchkeepers at the Lookout and was given a comprehensive briefing on watchkeeping life at the tower, taking in the commanding view of an area of sea and coastline that in terms of incidents involving NCI Torbay, Coastguards and local Search and Rescue assets, is one of the busiest in the UK.

She was then escorted to NCI Torbay’s Visitors’ Centre, where she met senior members of NCI Torbay before presenting a Long Service Award to Senior Watchkeeper Brian Pinnegar and a Special Service Award to former Station Manager Andy Milner.

The Royal visitor was the escorted to a reception at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club where further members of NCI Torbay were presented, along with officers from the other four NCI Devon stations, Coastguard Rescue Team, RNLI Torbay and local supporters.

The visit was brought to a close when she unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit.