If you’re visiting the coast and see someone in trouble, call 999 and ask for the 'Coastguard'

If aboard your boat use your radio to call Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or activate DSC Alert

Welcome to Coastwatch Tay Coastal Safety & Surveillance Organisation

Please browse through the links which provide information about our organisation's aims and objectives and useful safety information for mariners. 

About us

Coastwatch Tay which is based at Broughty Ferry, Dundee on the North East coast of Scotland, was established in 2009 by a small team of dedicated men and women drawn from all walks of life who have an interest in, and concern for the safety of the ever expanding number of coastal users and wildlife on the Tay estuary including its shores, beaches, harbours at Monifieth, Broughty Ferry and Dundee waterfront.

Coastwatch Tay is a volunteer based team, has no paid staff, trustees or directors.  We receive no local authority, government or lottery funding and are totally dependent upon financial donations and product donations from the community and local businesses in order to continue to provide our front line life saving and community safety services. 


         Left - Automated External Defibrillator          /                   Right - Coastwatch Tay Bicycle Patrol team

Our aims are to improve water safety, participate in life saving initiatives and safeguard lives by keeping visual watch over activities on the Tay. Our trained uniformed volunteers give up a few hours a week, often at weekends to patrol our operational area keeping watch, inspecting life saving equipment and providing safety guidance and information to the public. We also monitor the international distress channel VHF Channel 16 in support of search & rescue operations.

Why do we need volunteer Coastwatch groups around the UK?

In 1994 the tragic loss of a local Cadgwith fishing boat and her two-man crew happened in the sea area overlooked by the disused and derelict Bass Point Coastguard station, devastating the local community and shocking the nation. The two Cornish fishermen lost their lives within sight of the empty Coastguard lookout at Bass Point, and a group of local people decided to set up an organisation to restore visual watches along the UK coast.

In 2011 with technological improvements and austerity factors being given as the reasoning, the UK coalition government decided to commence closures of some Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers (MRCC's) such as Forth, Clyde, Brixham, Portland, Solent, Liverpool, Swansea & Thames and smaller lookout stations around the country.

These closures saw the loss of many experienced coastguard officers who had a wealth of rescue experience, local knowledge and contacts. With maritime emergencies being handled by new coastguard operations centers which are further and further away from the incident locations, it was felt by some that lives were being put at risk as there is no substitute for human observation skills. 

Accidents happen and technology cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat, a yacht with problems, a water sports enthusiast in difficulty, navigational hazards such as floating tree trunks, acetylene cylinders, children or adults in trouble, or possible pollution incidents. That is why lookouts and volunteer watch keepers are an important service to all those who use our coastal waters, footpaths and coastline. 



Above - Coastwatch Tay base at Broughty Ferry, Dundee


Left - Offsite observation training at Berwick Coastwatch station / Right - Working in Partnership with Dundee City Council

PLEASE NOTE! Coastwatch Tay is NOT a rescue organisation, our role is to Spot, Plot, Report & Update. If we spot a potential incident or safety issue we will record the exact location and report accurate information to the relevant emergency services primarily Maritime Coastguard Agency, UK Border Force, Police Scotland Ports Unit or local authorities. 

If you are looking to become a rescue operative you should consider volunteering with HM Coastguard as a coastguard rescue officer or contact the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to inquire about becoming a lifeboat crew member. Opportunities are also available to become a life guard with Royal Life Saving Society UK.

Pictured above is the Broughty Ferry Blue flag award beach


         Broughty Ferry RNLI tow yacht into Broughty Ferry harbour - RNLI exercise with HMCG SAR Helo on the Tay off Tayport


Coastwatch Tay is an active partner in the UK Governments National Counter Terrorism strategy, 'Project Kraken' in the Police Scotland Tayside division.


Images & Content © Copyright 2009 - 2020 Coastwatch Tay Coastal Safety & Surveillance Organisation. All rights reserved. 

Disclaimer Notice - Coastwatch Tay Coastal Safety & Surveillance Organisation is an autonomous organisation and we accept no responsibility or liability for the actions, business transactions or associated services of any similarly named organisation using the name ‘Coastwatch’ or ‘Coastwatch Scotland’. Please also note that we are NOT part of the National Coastwatch Institution.
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