National Coastwatch - Prawle Point


© National Coastwatch Institution Registered Charity Number 1159975

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VHF Channel 65

01548 511259

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Charity of the Year 2016

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There has been a lookout of some kind at Prawle Point for many years, the word ‘Prawle’ is Old English for ‘lookout’.  A full description of the history can be found on our History page.

Prawle Point with the watchstation on the skyline

For up to date weather information see our Weather Station display.

If you require current weather information you are welcome to talk to a watchkeeper by phone on 01548 511259 or on VHF channel 65 at any time whilst the station is manned. He or she can give you the current weather at Prawle Point – and, if you missed them, they will have the current Inshore Waters Forecast, gale and strong wind warnings available. You cannot contact the lookout by email.

For further information see our pages for:
       Assistance to Mariners and
       Information for Walkers.

Alongside the lookout we have an excellent Visitor Centre which was refurbished with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and officially opened in 2010.  

The Centre is open every day from 9am to 5pm and until later in the summer months.

The Centre boasts display panels, professionally produced by Devon Wildlife Enterprises and Freeline Graphics, providing a wealth of information on the role of NCI watchkeepers, search and rescue services, the vessels likely to be observed, history and geology of the coastline, walking activities and the abundant wildlife of the area.

Thanks to the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  we also have an interactive information kiosk with more information, photos and videos.  Data from our weather station is also displayed as well as topical items from time to time and an interactive quiz.

Visitors have a wide view to seaward through the observation window and through a free to use telescope, provided by the Friends of Prawle Point.  In addition you can follow progress of shipping on a radar screen and on a live chart on the information kiosk.

Stunning photography, highly informative text, new lighting and décor have created a very attractive facility for coastal walkers and an inspiring learning resource for young visitors.

Watchkeepers are the eyes and ears along the coast, keeping a visual watch, monitoring radio channels, using radar and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. A log is maintained of all identified vessels, noting bearing, distance and heading. The work is mainly routine but watchkeepers are trained to act in an emergency, report to the MCA and if required co-ordinate with the search and rescue services.

In addition to incidents at sea, this includes potential emergencies involving the many walkers who use the coast path which passes close to the Station.

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 Local Information and History