Coastwatch team moves into tower

Members of Fleetwood Coastwatch at the new rossall Point tower. From left: Steve Scholes, Ken Harcombe and John Bradford.
Members of Fleetwood Coastwatch at the new rossall Point tower. From left: Steve Scholes, Ken Harcombe and John Bradford.

Fleetwood’s Coastwatch team is finally moving into the new state-of-the-art Rossall Point Observation Tower.

After a long wait, the main occupants of the facility pick the keys up to the second floor of the tower this week.

Then they will start to install £16,000 worth of hi-tech equipment before they officially open on Sunday, June 9.

The tower opened to members of the public at the end of February, but a delay with the lease prevented the National Coastwatch Institution team from moving in.

Station manager Steve Martin said: “It’s been a long time coming but we are looking forward to setting up now and getting on with our job.

“We will start to move the equipment in on Thursday.

“The console needs installing, the electrical work and shelving putting up, but we will be opening on June 9 at 1.30pm.

“The Old Boys Band will be there and there’ll be entertainment from the Golden Girls.

“It won’t be an open day, we are saving that for Fleetwood’s Heritage Weekend in September.” The equipment has been partly funded by a £10,000 Lottery grant and the remaining £6,000 was raised independently.

It includes a top of the range radar which operates using low-emission technology.

There’s a new VHS radio, weather station, the latest tidal information and charts on computer and two high powered binoculars.

The voluntary team will fill the second floor in the tower with its equipment to assist rescue operations and provide a look-out for vessels along the Fylde coast.

They will operate alongside the Coastguard and RNLI and will attend an assessment course which will give them search and rescue team status.

“We will be operating a two-shift rota throughout the summer between 10am and 6pm,” added Steve.

Rossall Point is part of the authority’s £2.1m Sea Change regeneration programme and has replaced the smaller tower with facilities for schoolchildren and a viewing platform for the public, after the old point was closed in September 2011.