Author Archives: nsiross1

Declared Facility Status (DFS) 2018

Another year has passed so quickly and this year we have had to be prepared for a ‘No Notice’ DFS check.
This is the new Head Office trial of conducting a performance check on individual stations without a fixed date or any pre warning.
It goes without saying that we should be able to meet the demands of a station that has DFS at all times. However, it is not in peoples’ nature to react well to surprise checks which has the potential to cause some concern with those on the receiving end of the check.
It is with that in mind that the DFS assessors go out of their way to ensure the watchkeepers are put at ease when they arrive.
So what warning did we get of the check this year?…..answer none. The station management team did not receive any notification other that it would be conducted from the 1st to the 13th Sep.
The first the watchkeepers knew that the DFS was to take place was by a call received on Channel 65 from the assessor. Bill T and George S were on duty and the radio was answered promptly using the correct procedures. From the feedback I have had all proceeded smoothly and a good handover was provided to Ann D and Bill C who took over the afternoon shift.
In conversation with the assessor, he reported it was a pleasure to do the DFS at our station again this year. He was particularly impressed with the local area knowledge and the conduct of the watchkeepers throughout the day. He raised some points on the way in which we fill in our Log which I have answered and he accepts since the log may be adapted to suit local station needs. He also spotted that I had not put in the latest chart corrections from the Admiralty. ‘Mea culpa’ I’ve told him we shall institute a method of chart checking for the future, probably with our clock system on the Ops computer. He also asked where our ‘training manual’ was. He was told that the training system is being updated by Martyn C. Whether we actually need a physical paper copy is under discussion. Overall, he commented that the station is very well organised and run very professionally. A copy of the report is on the station notice board.
We are now in my 3rd year as manager and I thank you all for the commitment and willingness to volunteer your time and experience in maintaining the standards required to retain DFS. More importantly, I thank you for the professional lookout maintained during the rest of the year which helps to keep people safe on our shores and sea areas.
Bob Loynes
Station Manager

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

It was a very proud day for Fleetwood volunteers when we attended a formal ceremony at County Hall to be presented with the crystal award and commemorative parchment signed by Her Majesty the Queen. The photograph shows the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, meeting members of the station and congratulating them on their receipt of this prestigious award. There are over 8,000 registered voluntary groups in Lancashire, and Fleetwood NCI was honoured to join the handful of organisations selected to receive this accolade in 2017. The official citation made reference to the fact that our volunteers keep watch for more than 5,000 man hours each year, and reserved particular praise for our engagement with the local community. A great honour, in which every watchkeeper has taken considerable pride.


Praise From Charlie

The watchkeepers at Fleetwood were surprised and delighted to find that they had been chosen as a BBC ‘Coastal Champion’, resulting in a national TV appearance on the Breakfast Show. The nomination had been made by our good friend, Carol, who is a regular visitor along the promenade and beach at Rossall. Carol, who has mobility problems, is accompanied by her faithful support dog, Charlie, who is trained to fetch help from the watchkeepers if she is in difficulty. Carol made the nomination as a ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who keep watch over her and other users of the coast – a gesture which was hugely appreciated by all of the station’s watchkeepers.

Fleetwood Golf Club

We were delighted to receive a visit in August from Linda Marr, Chair of House at Fleetwood Golf Club and a past Ladies Captain. The Golf Club is one of our strongest supporters and Linda called in to present us with a cheque for £324, representing the proceeds from a raffle held during a recent ladies’ competition at the Club involving all of the major Fylde golf clubs. Linda agreed to pass on our grateful thanks to all of the members at the Golf Club, and she is photographed here at the presentation with Bob Loynes (Station Manager) and Brian Johnson (Fundraising Officer).