One of my many engagements this week was a visit to the National Coastwatch Institution parliamentary reception.
We have two Coastwatch stations in Great Yarmouth: one in Gorleston and one in Caister. Both do fantastic work ensuring that there is a pair of careful eyes looking out for people and vessels in distress.
The point of the reception was to drum up support for the organisation and encourage more people to volunteer to keep our coasts safe for those out on the water.
Each NCI station is manned by a team of fully trained volunteers who keep a daylight watch up to 365 days a year. Stations are equipped with telescopes, radar, telephone and weather instruments as well as up-to-date charts. Nationally, over 300 incidents were reported in 2011 involving vessels, yachts, divers, surfers, small craft and coastal workers.
I would encourage Great Yarmouth residents to get involved with this fantastic organisation, whether that is raising or donating money for the NCI or by volunteering to help keep watch over our coastline.
More information can be found at www.nci.org.uk