Charity Event 24th March

There will be a public Charity Event at Highcliffe Sports and Social Club on Saturday 24th March from 10am to 3pm. The main attraction is an impressive Model Boat Show by the Solent Radio Control Model Boat Club ( ). Models include warships, merchant ships, sailing ships, and even a rowing donkey! There will be an RNLI Gift Stall and Sea Safety display, as well as Coastwatch information and sales. Refreshments will be available from the Cafe.

Entry is by Charity Donation with proceeds going to the RNLI and Calshot NCI. Everyone is Welcome – tell all your friends!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NCI Calshot Tower photographs

NCI HQ recently asked all Stations each to submit up to five possible photographs for a Calendar project. After a positive response by most stations initially, there were an increasing number of concerns raised by stations,  and we have been told that several stations have subsequently withdrawn their support from the project completely.  As a result of the concerns, HQ have decided to cancel the project in its current proposed format.

Here are some of the photos submitted by Calshot Watchkeepers, prior to the project being cancelled, for possible submission to HQ (click on the thumbnails to enlarge).

Our thanks to those who submitted photos and apologies for the effort involved!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yacht Capsize – 7th January 2018

During the 11am to 2pm watch on 7th January the wind was force 6, gusting 7, from ENE. Given those conditions, when an Ultimate-20 racing dayboat with mainsail well reefed came out of the Hamble River, the Watchkeepers identified it as potentially vulnerable. However, with asymmetric spinnaker set, they successfully completed a fast reach across Southampton Water towards Ashlett creek. Then, with spinnaker furled, they tacked and started the beat back across the shipping channel …and capsized!

The yacht turned turtle and the four people on board climbed onto the hull. A small tanker was inbound for the Fawley jetties and two of the smaller tugs/mooring launches  were on the way to meet it. As we contacted the Coastguard, one of them, the Ibex, proceeded to the upturned yacht and took the crew off.

The incident had been spotted from the Calshot RNLI boathouse and the D-Class inshore rescue boat was already being launched as HMCG tasked it, together with the Calshot Lifeboat (on exercise in Stanswood Bay) to recover the yacht. The Hamble Lifeboat was tasked to recover the crew from the Ibex and bring them back to the Calshot boathouse where they were assessed to be cold and wet but otherwise OK!

The yacht was recovered to the beach at Calshot Spit where the small cabin was pumped out. The yacht was then put on one of the Calshot Association moorings. The RNLI boathouse had requested Calshot NCI to take photos of the event using the Ops. Room camera, some of these are shown below. Note that identification marks on the sails and hull have been removed from the photos to spare any blushes!

Posted in Station News | Leave a comment

Mekhanik Yartsev – viewed from Calshot

On Boxing Day (2017) the Watchkeepers were concerned to spot through the haze a badly listing ship somewhere off Gilkicker Point. Having estimated an approximate position they confirmed with HMCG that the situation was in hand.

The ship was the Mekhanik Yartsev which had lost some of its deck cargo of wood during the previous night’s gales near the western entry to the Dover traffic separation zone. Originally bound for Northern Ireland, the ship had sought shelter in the Solent. She was anchored near the East Bramble Cardinal Mark until the storms died down.

On the 28th December the Mekhanik Yartsev, still listing, was towed into Southampton by the Itchen Marine tugs Wyestorm and Wyeforce with a Harbour Master’s launch and an all-weather lifeboat in attendance. Here are some photos taken from the Tower when the ship was first sighted, and then, by Watchkeepers using the Ops. Room camera, as she was towed past Calshot and down Southampton Water.

A painting by Watchkeeper Colin Lewis of the tow past Calshot Tower can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Posted in Media | Leave a comment

Christmas Greetings


Here are some of the Christmas cards we have received from other NCI Stations (click on cards to enlarge):

Posted in Station News | Leave a comment

It was windy on Sunday!


Dark green (and green shading) shows average wind speed from the Light Float; blue line is average wind speed from Bramble Met Post.

Fortunately, the force 11 winds which had been forecast for our area didn’t materialise. All the same, it was windy enough on Sunday (10th December 2017), with gale force 8 winds much of the morning.

However, when the morning watch arrived to find the Tower beginning to sway in the wind, they saw that the last wind speed reading from Calshot Light Float was only 3kts! For some time now the  wind direction from the light float has been wrong; was the wind speed now also broken?

In fact the plot above shows that the wind had indeed dropped for a very brief period before the start of the watch – as confirmed by the Bramble Met Post winds. This coincided with the wind direction at Bramble changing from around SE to WSW where it remained until noon. It then shifted to WNW and the wind speed started to decrease. The low wind speed recorded by the light float prior to the start of the watch was correct after all.

Conditions were still rough at 1230 when the Calshot Lifeboat returned from their morning exercise, as confirmed by the photos below.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Out of the Fog!


A very large container ship, the MOL Triumph, suddenly emerges from a fog bank. That’s Black Jack buoy which is about three cables from the Tower. A few moments earlier, when the bow was where the stern is now, the ship was totally hidden. The Harbour Master’s launch “SP” was busy clearing small boats out of the path of a monster, invisible container ship that was bearing down upon them!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NCI Calshot AGM – 19th October 2017


Earlier this evening we held our 7th AGM and were delighted to welcome National Chairman Lesley Suddes.   Lesley thanked outgoing station manager Colin Lewis who, after 7 years post has decided to revert to regular watchkeeping duties.  This will allow Colin to devote more time to one of his other passions, namely painting in watercolour and acrylics, in fact, we have posted some of his paintings on this blog over the past few months.

The various reports by officers placed a very positive spin on the 7 years whilst Colin has been at the helm,  We were also pleased to be joined by founder member Ryan Sutton who must be very proud of the way the station has flourished over the years.  These days Ryan walks the corridors of central Government in Westminster but still took time out to come and touch base with us.

Our thanks go to the Business centre staff at Ordnance Survey who arranged for us to host the meeting in the splendid Solent Lecture theatre and watchkeeper Mark Tilley who arranged security and visitor registrations.


Posted in Station News | Leave a comment

Ordnance found near Warsash


Seen from the Tower: with a Coastguard mobile unit and a Bomb Disposal unit in attendance, a controlled explosion took place off the beach at Warsash during the Saturday afternoon watch, 16th September.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RNLI Calshot Open Day

Some photos taken at the RNLI Open day on 20th August 2017. The view of the Lifeboat Station is from the Castle; the rest of the photos are from the NCI Station on Calshot Tower.

Posted in Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment