National Coastwatch Institution installs digital eyes along the Cornish coast to improve public safety
The National Coastwatch Institution has installed an advanced PTZ dome style camera from Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, across a focal point in Cornwalls’s Priest Cove. The Institution, having reported over 350 maritime incidents to date in 2017, recognised that the cove was not easily visible to its existing watch station in the area, potentially leaving visitors and fishermen at risk. With its local team, Cape Cornwall Watch, only able to gain oversight of the area via a perilous rocky route, it decided to invest in a new breed of IP camera technology, designed to withstand the area’s extreme weather conditions, while still delivering excellent imagery and remote monitoring capabilities.
The National Coastwatch Institution is a voluntary organisation pioneered in 1994 to restore a visual watch along the UK’s shores. Since installation of the AXIS Q6055-E system by installer NCI Technologies, it has helped to prevent several potentially catastrophic situations, including children being stranded by the rapidly changing tides. Any potential incidents are remotely monitored by the Cape Cornwall Watch team, who are trained to deal with emergencies, offering a variety of skills and experience. The Cape Cornwall station has a 34-strong team of volunteers who man the station 12 hours per day. The team sought a solution that could be designed to blend in with the cliff, causing no disruption to local wildlife or visitors.
Richard Saynor, Station Manager at Cape Cornwall Watch, states, “The camera has allowed us to greatly improve our ability to help anyone who may get into difficult situations in Priest Cove or along the coast towards Land’s End. The installation was seamless, despite the challenging landscape and conditions. We’ve seen youngsters playing on the rocks, others jumping through waves, and people often don’t realise that when the tides change, they may need help to return to safety. We aim to improve public safety by preventing an incident, rather than having to respond to one. The team of watch keepers was impressed by the quality of the images. This allows us to identify potential incidents and react quickly to stop them becoming accidents.”
Lucas Young, Business Development Manager, Northern Europe at Axis Communications, states, “A major benefit for Cape Cornwall Watch is creating a clearer picture of events within the cove and along the coast, a significant challenge when reliant on a manual process. The watch keepers were aware there was a large amount of activity they were unable to see, such as children playing on the slipway, and many others swimming in the coves. With advanced IP camera technology in use, featuring a 32x optical zoom and HDTV 1080p, it becomes easy to monitor small, but critical, details such as the status of fishing boats or close-up views of people of interest.”