New Location Signs

New location signs to help improve coastguard rescue times

The first 500 location signs to help the Coastguard pinpoint exactly where an accident has taken place along the South West Coast Path have now been attached to existing waymark signs between Dawlish and Mevagissey by local volunteer Coastguard teams. A further 2,000 signs, each of which give a location name and its Ordnance Survey map reference, are scheduled to go up over the next year, covering the entire 630 miles of the path. As a way of thanking the sponsors, Endurancelife and the South West Coast Path Association, they were invited to attach the 500th sign at Start Point, South Devon (above).

Mick Cooke of the Brixham Coastguard, who came up with the idea, said: “The sooner the Coastguard arrive at the scene of an accident, the better the likely outcome for the casualty, so these little signs could help save a life.” As well as the sponsors he thanked the South West Coast Path Team for raising the sponsorship and for providing a list and maps of all their existing Coast Path waymark signs.

Steve Church, secretary of the South West Coast Path Association, said the charity was pleased to be able to support the project. “Alongside the obvious safety benefits attached to the location signs, they are sure to be useful to walkers along the path, especially if they are unsure of which bay or headland they’ve arrived at.”

Andrew Barker of Endurancelife, which organises regular challenge events along the Coast Path each year, added: “We have runners come from all over the UK and beyond, and the feedback we get is that it’s the stunning views from the path that brings them here. It’s an important part of our company’s ethos to put something back, and so in partnership with a couple of our corporate customers, RBS and Michelmore Hughes, we are delighted to be able to support this really worthwhile project.”

The Coastguard has a long history of involvement with the Coast Path, as much of the route follows the paths created by the Coastguard in its original role as excise men, looking out for smugglers. Right up until 1913 the length of the path was regularly patrolled by the Coastguards in their constant struggle to apprehend lawbreakers. As they needed to look down into every bay and cove, the path closely hugs the coast providing excellent views but rarely the most direct path between two points. This forms the basis for the path that now gives pleasure to millions of people each year.

Photo caption: Left to right: Mick Cooke from Brixham Coastguard; Jon Wood, Assistant Project Manager at Brixham Coastguard; John Slater from South West Coast Path; and Gary Joliffe from Endurancelife.


Published on: Nov. 21, 2011