National Coastwatch    Prawle PointEYES ALONG THE COAST
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panorama from Peartree Point to Bolt Head

National Coastwatch Prawle Point - Information for Mariners

Our patch

The Prawle Point Lookout* has a 240° arc of visibility over the sea off the southern tip of Devon from Peartree Point in the east to Bolt Head in the west. This includes the entrance to the attractive and popular Salcombe harbour.

On a clear day the hard horizon is just over 16 nautical miles distant. Thus we watch over 500 square nautical miles of sea.

Local hazards within sight of the Lookout are overfalls and tide races off Start Point, Prawle Point and Bolt Head. Salcombe Bar.

* at 50°12.2' N, 003°43.2' W (50.202908, -3.720267)

Watching out for your safety

If you go to sea within the area covered by our watchstation you have the reassurance that, if we can identify your vessel, it will be logged. Help boost your safety by having your boat name clearly readable and for a sailing vessel have a sail number showing.

A team of around 60 trained and qualified volunteer watchkeepers share daylight watches operating every day of the year. The station is equipped with telescopes, radar, radio and telephone as well as up to date charts. In the event of an emergency, we act as the eyes of the Coastguard and update them as to the correct position of the casualty and what is happening on scene.

Through close cooperation with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Prawle Point NCI earned its "Declared Facility Status" in 2000, enabling us to become an integral part of the national Search and Rescue structure.

We have good working relationships with Prawle Point Coastguard Rescue Team and Salcombe RNLI.

Other NCI stations

We are flanked by stations at Rame Head and Froward Point. For information about these stations as well as our own, please download our station summary card:

NCI Station Summary Card W Devon & E Cornwall

This card is also available from the Lookout when it is open and from our stand at the events we attend. For information about other National Coastwatch stations, visit www.nci.org.uk.

Useful links

Admiralty Navigation Warnings

Maritime & Coastguard Agency

National Coastwatch Institution

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

Salcombe Harbour Authority

Contact us

The Prawle Point Lookout is manned 365 days a year from 0900 to 1700 or sunset, if earlier. In the summer it is normally open until 2000 or sunset. Today's opening times are shown on our Home page.

At any time whilst the station is manned, you are welcome to talk to a watchkeeper by hailing "Prawle Point NCI" direct on VHF channel 65. We are not permitted to answer on channel 16. Alternatively, you can phone us on 0‍1548 511259.

You cannot contact the lookout by email.

Watchkeeper keeping a lookout

How we can help

Watchkeepers can give you the current weather at Prawle Point and will have the current Inshore Waters Forecast, gale and strong wind warnings available.

We broadcast the current local weather and sea conditions on VHF Channel 65 every day at 0945, 1145, 1345, 1545 and, in the summer, at 1745.

We can also provide radio and AIS checks. Indeed, HM Coastguard ask mariners to use NCI for radio checks, particularly in the summer when they are busy. If you do not know which NCI station is nearest, just hail "NCI" and the closest station(s) should respond.

Maritime Safety Information

Falmouth Coastguard broadcasts the latest Gale Warnings and Inshore Waters Forecast every day at 0110, 0410, 0710, 1010, 1310, 1610, 1910, and 2210 local time. Announcement is made on VHF Channel 16 and off Prawle Point the MSI broadcast is then heard on Channel 62 or 64.

Operational capability

The station has Declared Facility Status and reports to CGOC Falmouth.
Radio callsign: Prawle Point NCI VHF listening watch: channels 16, 65, 67 & 0
Visual watch: Yes VHF channels in use
Radar watch: Yes  - Call direct (not via 16): 65
AIS watch: Yes  - If authorised by HM Coastguard: 0
NAVTEX: No Visual horizon: 16 nautical miles
DSC Watch: No Radar horizon: 21 nautical miles