HC Deb 02 April 1919 vol 114 cc1218-9W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether coast watchers are still being employed all round the British and Irish coasts in addition to the force of Coastguard; and what good purpose the former now serve?


Coast watchers are now being employed on the coast of Ireland only—all those on the coast of Great Britain were discharged on 14th January last. Coast watchers are still required to supplement the coastguard in Ireland, as the latter have been considerably reduced in numbers during the War, and it has not yet been possible to complete the force to full complement. It is, however, hoped to do so in the course of the next three months, and as additional Coastguard ratings are drafted to Ireland the number of coast watchers employed will be gradually reduced. The duties of the coast watchers in Ireland are many and varied. These duties include: Protection and salvage of wrecked property—Government and private; reporting of mines and taking steps to safeguard life in the event of a mine being washed ashore; keeping lookout for wrecks and vessels in distress; communicating with nearest lifeboat authorities in the event of shipwreck; assisting to work the life-saving apparatus when and where necessary; pro- tection of the Revenue; general assistance to the Coastguard in the performance of their duties.