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NCI 30th Anniversary

In 1994 two Cornish fishermen lost their lives within sight of the recently closed Coastguard lookout at Bass Point. A group of concerned local people decided that keeping a visual watch along the coast would significantly contribute to marine safety. And so the National Coastwatch Institution began and 30 years later it is still growing.

To mark this anniversary, a flag relay has begun. It started at NCI Fleetwood and is making it’s way to all the stations. The flag is 5’x3’and bears all the NCI station names. NCI Filey will be the last station it visits, estimated to arrive Wednesday 28th August this will be coming from NCI Hornsea.

More details will be announced nearer the time.

Planning Fun on the beach or on the Water, keep safety in mind!

know the RNLI Beach Flags and warning signs / Read the safety flyer prepared by NCIHH Water Safety Team

now that the beaches are starting to get busier, know the RNLI Beach Flags and warning signs

For more information visit the RNLI Coastal Safety Page


Blue Light Day – Sunday 26th May

NCI HH is going to be on the Green at Mudeford Quay from 10 am as part of RNLI Blue Light Day

Lots of Blue Light organisation for you to meet, some from our search and rescue family including, RNLI (obviously),  HM Coastguard, and Air Ambulance.

Please do come along and say hello!



8pm on BBC 2 – Tuesday 30th April 2024

Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East - Visits our Station

On 9th April, the Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, visited the Lookout. He can be seen above with one of our watchkeepers Brian, along with the Station Manager Peter Holway, who briefed Mr Ellwood on our daily operations. Mr Ellwood was interested to learn that we are the second busiest station for recorded incidents in England and Wales, he thanked us for our service.


Nature has now established our channel out to sea and we are pleased to confirm all buoys are now in place. As previously stated, the channel lays further to the east than it has been for the last few years.

The Christchurch Harbour Association will keep a watching brief on the situation as it is possible the channel may break through slightly west of the current position.

The outer channel is not ideal, so as we have stated before take care as you enter or exit the harbour, always maintaining a watch on depth.

Christchurch Harbour Association

The Christchurch Harbour Association(CHA) Issue Important Notice to all Mariners

The Christchurch Harbour Association (CHA) will be laying out the harbour and channel markers shortly, so they are available before the Easter weekend.

However, due to the adverse weather we have been experiencing, the outer channel is not fully developed. The actual channel may move over the next few weeks, once it settles the CHA will move the required buoys. You should note that the channel is not a maintained channel, but nature dependant.

Therefore, in the meantime, please treat the markers as an indication of ‘best channel’ and take extra care as you enter or exit the harbour, maintaining a watch on depth at all times.

HHNCI Commences Summer Operating Hours - 0800 until 1900 Every Day

Meet your local Watchkeepers at WiseGuys – 30th March

1 Stanpit, Christchurch, BH23 3LR

WiseGuys Blue3
WiseGuys Blue3

HRH The Princess Royal, visits NCI Hengistbury Head

HRH The Princess Royal, made Wednesday 14th February 2024 an extra lovely day for Dorset volunteers when she visited NCI Hengistbury Head

HRH The Princess Royal Meets Station Manager Peter Holway and watchkeepers Victoria Jago and Vincent Tabor.

Although the weather at the Bournemouth clifftop location was inhospitable, there was a very warm welcome at the station from NCI Deputy Chair Dr Chris Aps, Station Manager Peter Holway and the  watchkeepers on duty. They were introduced by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Mr Angus Campbell, CVO.

Her Royal Highness was briefed on the daily operation of the station. It is one of the busiest stations in our network of 60 coastal stations in terms of incident recording, with over 60 incidents a year logged in the last two years.

After visiting the station, The Princess Royal attended a reception at the nearby St Nicholas Church Hall.

The reception was attended by over 50 NCI watchkeepers and Station Managers from other NCI Stations in the region, as well as NCI Trustees Dr Chris Aps, Regional Trustee and Eric Taylor, Head of Operations. Guests from the local community included representatives from Southbourne Coastguard, RNLI Mudeford Lifeboat, Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP and BCP Council.

Stephen Hand, NCI Chair, formally welcomed Her Royal Highness to NCI Hengistbury Head and thanked her for her visit. He then invited her to present 5-year service awards to six watchkeepers and to unveil a commemorative plaque, which will be placed in the station. Mr Hand said: “Already this year, Her Royal Highness has visited our stations in Cromer, Norfolk and Worms Head in Wales and it’s a wonderful start to the year in which we will celebrate our 30th anniversary of helping to keep people safe on the coast and save lives at sea.”

Images credit: Caroline Walker

Radio items featuring NCI Hengistbury Head – 2021

Scala Radio Listeners Hear Brief History of NCI

On the 14th December Mark Forrest, during his Scala Radio programme, interviewed Sue, one of our watchkeepers. Mark was interested to learn about the NCI so Sue, in the time available, gave his listeners a concise history of the charity. She spoke of the tragedy in Cornwall which led to the creation of the NCI in 1994, our role today, and the fact that the 57 stations are manned entirely by our 2600 volunteers.

If you would like to hear the interview, you can listen by pressing play.

Our Station Manager Interviewed on Radio Solent

On the 07 December, as storm Barra was moving in, Steve Harris, during his Breakfast show on Radio Solent, interviewed our Station Manager Peter Holway. Peter was on duty in the Lookout and Steve asked how things were looking from the top of Hengistbury Head.

If you would like to hear the interview, you can listen by pressing play.

Television News items featuring NCI Hengistbury Head – 2019

This item by Meridian News was aired on 15th August 2019. This excerpt from the piece relates to HHNCI Lookout.

If you would like to watch the entire Meridian News item it can be viewed on our Facebook Page

(c) ITV Meridian MMXIX

This report was Broadcast on BBC South Today, on 4th December 2019  

A full version of the broadcast can be seen on our Facebook page.