As the name implies, Incidents at Sea are those that involve vessels of one kind or another observed by NCI to be in potential danger. This category also includes incidents involving dangerous floating objects in the sea and sea pollution.

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015 23 August 2016 Observation of a kayak
014 09 August 2016 Yacht with engine failure
013 26 June 2016 Stolen Yacht 2013 
012 10 November 2013 Sea pollution
011 01 September 2013. Boat possibly acting suspiciously.
010 07 June 2013. Drifting dinghy.
009 29 April 2013. Vessel in difficulty.
008 01 April 2013. Capsized kayak.
007 23 October 2012. Floating object; danger to shipping.
006 12 May 2012. Checking up on three cross channel canoeists.
005 03 September 2011. Vessel sailing into danger.
004 29 June 2011. Unidentified object.
003 01 May 2011. Two canoeists rescued from Worm's Head
002 19 March 2011. Boat in difficulty off Worm’s Head. Two people.
001 15 July 2010. Monitoring a vessel’s progress.

015 23 August 2016 Observation of a kayak
top Milford Haven Coastguard called with a report that a member of the public had seen a red kayak a long way off Mewslade. The Coastguard asked NCI to observe. One of the watchkeepers went to Tears Point and saw the kayak 200 metres South of Crabart. This was reported to the Coastguard who requested further observation for 30 minutes. A report was given to the Coastguard when the kayak went out of sight behind Worm's Head, reappeared again and was seen heading safely towards Rhossili. At this point the incident was closed.

014 09 August 2016 Yacht with engine failure
top Watchkeepers noted that a 29 ft sailing cruiser 'Zarwin' with two crew on board had reported engine failure. One of the watchkeepers maintained a visual watch on the vessel which was tacking to avoid drifting onto Burry Holmes. The Coastguard requested that the visual watch be maintained until the Tenby all-weather lifeboat was on site. In due course the lifeboat arrived on site to take the sailing cruiser in tow.

013 26 June 2016 Stolen Yacht
top Watchkeepers received a call for the Coastguard seeking assistance monitoring a yacht stole from Saundersfoot. The theft had been reported 30 minutes earlier and the yacht was spotted heading across Carmarthen Bay. One of the watchkeepers went out to see if it was possible to see the yacht, maintaining contact with the Coastguard via channel zero. Tenby lifeboat, with two police on board, was launched in pursuit of the yacht. Watchkeeper reported to the Coastguard that visibilty was poor and that it was not possible to see the yacht. Subsequently, the lifeboat caught up with the yacht, a person was transferred to the lifeboat and the yacht taken in tow. The Coastguard confirmed by telephone that the vessel had been recovered.

012 10 November 2013 Sea Pollution
top A member of the public advised the duty watchkeepers of apparent pollution in Rhossili Bay. In view of similar reports elsewhere around Gower, Swansea Coastguard was advised and an incident number allocated.

 011 September 2013 Boat possibly acting suspiciously.
top The watch keepers noted a large white cabin cruiser approaching at speed from the west. It stopped at a red/orange marker buoy opposite the lookout and pulled up the buoy, the rope and the attached pot and put it in the stern well of the boat. It then moved about 200 yards to another similar buoy and did the same thing. Their approach to the two buoys was less professional than one would expect from a commercial fisherman and they didn’t re-bait and replace the pots, which is normal practice. The boat then left at speed in an easterly direction. The boat was unlike the usual commercial fishing boats seen in the area as it was large leisure craft (30 - 40 feet long) with a high flying bridge and a dark wrap around windscreen. It was possible that the people on the boat were merely lifting and removing their own pots but because the whole incident was unusual and potentially suspicious, Swansea Coastguard and the police were informed, as were local lobster fishermen.

010 07 June 2013. Drifting dinghy.
top Swansea Coastguard telephoned the watch keepers with a report of a dinghy adrift to the north of Rhossili Beach. The watch keepers were asked to locate the dinghy visually and report back to the coastguard. A telescope was taken to the cliff top and the watch keeper was able to report that a yellow object could be seen in the water a few hundred metres from the beach. Also visible was an object, possibly a person, 40 metres towards shore from the dinghy which was drifting towards the shore. The coastguard vehicle was observed at incident site by which time the dinghy was in the surf. The dinghy was retrieved by the coastguard. A few minutes later three girls were in contact with Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team and confirmed the loss of their airbed.

009 29 April 2013. Vessel in difficulty.
top During routine monitoring of radio traffic the watch keepers noted that a vessel which called Swansea Coastguard on Channel 16 to report engine failure was visible from the lookout. The 24 ft cruiser, Sarah Ray, with three people on board was adrift in 50ft water and unable to anchor. The watch keepers rang the Coastguard to advise them that the vessel was on a bearing of 160 degrees from the lookout and 1 nautical mile off shore. The Coastguard advised the watch keepers to observe and informed them that The Mumbles All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) had been tasked to tow the vessel to Swansea. Within 30 minutes the watch keepers had to advise the Coastguard that the vessel was drifting closer on the tide towards Worms Head and gave them an update on the conditions. The Coastguard provided the watch keepers with the estimated time of arrival of the ALB and informed them that the Horton and Port Eynon Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) had been called out to hold vessel off. The Coastguard updated the vessel with this information. The ILB arrived alongside the vessel and the ALB arrived shortly after. The ALB towed the vessel eastwards towards Swansea with the ILB in attendance. Click here for a report by the Mumbles lifeboat station. Click here for a photo from the ALB showing the vessel being towed wth the ILB alongside. Worm's Head and the NCI lookout can be seen in the background.

008 01 April 2013. Capsized kayak.
top During routine monitoring of radio traffic the watch keepers heard that an incident had occurred at the northern end of Rhossili Bay opposite Hillend. A kayaker had become separated from his kayak and a surfer was aiding the casualty in the water. One of the watch keepers went to the cliff edge with binoculars but could not see anything. The Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT), Burry Port Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) and RAF Search and Rescue helicopter from Chivenor were tasked to the casualty. Swansea Coastguard asked the NCI watch keepers whether they could see anything. The other watch keeper was already at the cliff edge above Kitchen Corner quarry and was contacted by walkie-talkie from the lookout. He reported that he could see nothing in the sea but there was a collection of people by Hillend close to the surf. He could not make out what was happening. This information was passed to Swansea Coastguard. Just at that time the CRT radioed to say that they had recovered the kayaker and he was in a bad way. Shortly after, the helicopter arrived on scene and took the casualty to A&E at Morriston Hospital. Click here for a report on the rescue by Burry Port RNLI and here for one published in the local paper..

007 23 October 2012. Floating object; danger to shipping.
top The watch keepers spotted a large tree trunk floating off Worm's Head. They considered it was a danger to shipping and reported its position to Swansea Coastguard who broadcast a Sécurité warning.

006 12 May 2012. Checking up on three cross channel canoeists.
top A member of the public visited the lookout to report that three canoeists were paddling across the channel from Ilfracombe. The watch keepers passed the details to Swansea Coastguard who asked to speak to the first informant. The person had left the lookout but one of the watch keepers went out to search for her and brought her back to the lookout where she spoke directly to the Coastguard on the NCI landline. It was noted that the canoeists had GPS and were thought to be heading for Port Eynon. Nine minutes later, Swansea Coastguard reported that they had heard from a member of the public at Port Eynon that the canoeists were entering Port Eynon bay. The first informant left Worm’s Head to drive to Port Eynon to meet the canoeists – one of whom was her husband. The three canoeists later landed safely at Port Eynon.

005 03 September 2011. Vessel sailing into danger.
top A twin-hulled motor vessel, assumed to be fishing, was observed sailing back and forth close to the edge of Crabart – a tide washed rocky area about half a mile south west of the lookout. However, since the visibility was poor and there was a strong on-shore wind, the watch keepers were concerned for its safety as it would be in danger of being blown onto the rocks if it had an engine malfunction. They contacted Swansea coastguard to advise of a possible safety issue. The coastguard contacted the vessel by radio. The crew stated that they were fishing and had no problems. The coastguard informed the watch keepers and enquired about the name of the vessel but the poor visibility prevented the watch keepers making an identification. The coastguard also asked about weather conditions at the time and asked the watch keepers to maintain a watch on the vessel. This was done and eventually it sailed away from the area.

004 29 June 2011 Unidentified object.
top The watch keepers had kept an unidentified object on rocks at Crabart under observation for some time and had not seen anyone in the vicinity. Having discussed the situation at length with Swansea Coastguard, the Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) was tasked. The team leader used the telescope in the lookout to scan the area but was unable to identify the object and so decided to investigate. It was only after his examination of what turned out to be waterproof clothing that he spotted the owner some considerable distance from his belongings and made his way over to speak to him. The owner was invisible to the watch keepers at the lookout at all times and indeed had not been seen by the team leader until he began his return from the water's edge. The person concerned was advised to keep his belongings close to him in future.

003 01 May 2011. Two canoeists rescued from Worm's Head.
top An inflatable canoe was seen heading around the Outer Head of the Worm. After 40 minutes it had not come back into view so the NCI watch keepers informed Swansea Coastguard. Shortly after, the Coastguard rang the watch keepers asking for further details then radioed the Sea Serpent (tourist RIB) asking if they had seen the canoe. They hadn't but would keep in touch. Sea Serpent then radioed the Coastguard to say that one of their crew had seen the canoe through Devil's Bridge and subsequently reported seeing the canoeists ashore on the Worm. Sea Serpent picked up the canoeists and their canoe and took them in to Rhossili Beach. Sea Serpent then returned to the Sound on the north side of Worm's Head. The watch keepers could hear the Coastguard and Sea Serpent attempting to contact each other on Channel 16 and 67 without success. The Coastguard contacted NCI requesting that they contact Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) to pass on the present location of the casualties as they could not raise the CRT on Channel 0. CRT arrived at the lookout and were redirected to beach to contact the casualties.

 002 19 March 2011. Boat in difficulty off Worm’s Head.

top Swansea Coastguard requested that we look for small vessel reported by Police to be drifting 5 miles west of Worms Head after a fire had been extinguished on board. The people on board were thought to be foreign nationals. NCI watch keepers reported that two vessels could be seen but further searching found a third. The Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) was paged and answered by the team leader who happened to be walking nearby with his family. A second member of the CRT arrived in their vehicle and took over communications with MRCC. Although all the boats were small and 3 or more miles away, descriptions, bearings and distance were given to the coastguard. Since the casualty vessel did not have a radio, only sporadic communication was possible via their mobile phone. Eventually, the casualty was identified as the third vessel spotted and this was confirmed when it was just possible to see a person on this vessel waving and a black flag was being displayed. It was discovered that one of the people on the boat had gone into the water to try to swim to safety but had given up and returned to the boat. Burry Port Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was tasked and launched. NCI continued to observe and report to the CRT as we were able to move our telescope to a position where we could get a better angle of view of the vessel. The ILB reached casualty and towed it to Burry Port harbour.

001 15 July 2010. Monitoring a vessel’s progress.
top Watch keepers monitored a call from Swansea Coastguard to Rhossili Mobile Coastguard, regarding a motor cruiser out of Burry Port heading west. The watch keeper informed HMCG that that they could see the vessel which was close to Burry Holms and proceeding west. HMCG was also informed that there was sheltered anchorage to the north of Worms Head if required. HMCG instructed Rhossili mobile to stand down as NCI Worms Head were monitoring the situation. HMCG rang NCI Worms Head requesting an update of bearing and position of the vessel in 30 minutes time. This was done but further updates were not possible as the vessel was no longer visible.
HMCG informed Worms Head that there were fears that the vessel was under-powered and not in particularly good condition. It was 68 feet long and was heading for Norway. The name was unconfirmed, possibly the Fantasy, but the concern was that she was running into further foul weather. No further action was required as the vessel was hoped to be proceeding towards Milford Haven.
Uncertainty as to the whereabouts of the MV continued through the afternoon and HMCG Milford Haven rang the lookout to ascertain the events of the morning and issue a general instruction to keep surveillance. They had investigated anchorages in the Tenby and Saundersfoot area to no avail. Finally, at 17:45, HMCG Milford Haven announced that the vessel, the Fantasy, had been sighted in the Milford Haven and that the Port Control was directing it in to dock in the Milford Marina. More....