A new panoramic webcam has been installed at the Swanage National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) station at Peveril Point, after the previous one was damaged by storms.
However it’s not yet able to be viewed online due to a few technical hitches but Swanage NCI says it should be fully operational by summer 2022.
The Swanage NCI station has got a new webcam to replace the one damaged by storms
“A bit hit or miss at the moment”
The new camera, costing £600, is in addition to the two separate cameras used exclusively by the NCI volunteers, one on Swanage Pier and one on the station itself.
Unlike these, the replacement camera, also located on the station roof, does not have a zoom facility in order to protect privacy.
Stuart MacMillan Pratt, Swanage station manager, said:
“It’s been broadcasting but it’s a bit hit and miss at the moment. We have got this somewhat dubious internet connection which the engineers are working on. We are certainly hoping to have it fully functioning in time for summer.”
Swanage station manager Stuart MacMillan Pratt
Webcam offers a panorama
The new NCI camera will complete a 270 degree scan of Swanage Bay, from Swanage Pier to Durlston Castle, only limited by privacy concerns for neighbours.
In the meantime, while waiting for the new webcam, there’s currently a live webcam at the Swanage RNLI station that is fixed on the lifeboat slipway.
As well as the public access webcam, the station has two other webcams with zoom control
View from the Swanage NCI camera located on Swanage Pier but only for NCI operational use
“People can go online at home and see that it’s sunny and conditions are fair and they can head on down here.
“It is useful information for anyone but it’s particularly useful for someone who has a kayak or a small dinghy because they can look at the weather all around the bay and the headland and spot if it’s a bit mucky out there.”
The new weather station provides up to date local weather information
The current cameras have proved their usefulness to the service by being able to help in searches for missing people or locating swimmers or small boats.
It’s not the only new addition to the station’s equipment. They have also taken delivery of a Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station.
Station weather information is fed to a central server operated by the company WeatherLink that provides information via the internet or mobile app and will also give the Swanage NCI station access to data from other stations in the area.
The RNLI has a static webcam focussed on the lifeboat slipway
View from Swanage RNLI webcam
Reopened to the public
The NCI station at St Alban’s Head, near Worth Matravers, has also been upgrading its equipment. It recently took delivery of a new £12,000 radar system.
Both stations, which are funded by public donation, have now reopened to visitors following the lifting of Covid restrictions.