Training is undertaking primarily at the watch tower under the auspices of a senior watch keeper. Training is spread over five to eight watches as a rule, but it very much depends on your experience
if any and in any event you will be provided with a comprehensive manual
During the process you will learn to
a) Opening and closing the watch tower and visitors centre , turning on the various instruments and logging on/off with the Solent coastguard at the beginning and end of the day
b) Make a note of the weather from the inshore weather forecast and high and Low water times before coming to the station about half-hour before the start of the morning shift in order to record the
details on a board, which is displayed in front of the tower.
c) Note the temperature,wind speed,direction and barometer readings from the Davis weather station and record in the log book.
d) Record in the log book any vessels that maybe anchored in the bay together with other features or persons of interest, who may be vunerable – Canoists, swimmers,windsurfers,single handed sailors,cliff climbers.
e) Use of the Eye-one eyeball , which if far more important than the radios, radar and Automatic Identification Scheme (AIS) whose features perhaps should be relied on in low visibility
f) How to plot a distance and bearing on a chart – (normally) within a minute). Plot a Latitude and Longitude on a chart within 3 minutes
g) Know what the tidal flow is doing on an hourly basis and able to plot drift due to tide and wind
h) Learn Radio procedures (Phonetic Alphabet) , Signals of Distress ( Flags) , Daytime (signals) and Lights at night
i) Procedures to adopt in case of Mayday ( Urgent), PanPan, (Advisory) ,Lost child, Coastal walkers
j) When you may transmit on VHF 65, VHF 16(Coastguard) and VHF 0 (Lifeboat)
k) In order to obtain your radio license ( RYA approved ) you will be expected to attend a Radio course (DSC)
l) Undertake Conning exercises of the Lifeboat to aid recovery of an object in the water at night.
When you feel that you are confident as being able to run a solo watch , a pre-assessment / assessment will be carried out by an approved trainer. At which time you will be awarded your epaulets
and expected to buy your own uniform