Coast People – Ray Preston

Coastwatch in Redcar is a one of an independent group of Coastal Surveillance Stations within the Sea Safety Group (SSG), an international non-government organisation whose headquarters are in the UK. These stations assist HM Coastguard in their task of helping people in trouble and saving lives at sea.

Coastwatch is a volunteer organisation with its stations and activities supported entirely by charitable donations from the local community. One of their senior watch keepers is Ray Preston. A fisherman all is life and a seasoned RNLI volunteer before he retired his knowledge and experience that is born from a lifetime along this coast helps, along with that of his colleagues, in saving lives.

The Redcar station opened on 31 October 1996 and occupies the top two floors of the building known as the ‘Zetland Lifeboat Museum’. The building was originally built in 1877 as a RNLI Lifeboat Station and later became a museum and HM Coastguard Station.  It was vacated by HM Coastguard in 1990 and became the property Redcar & Cleveland Council, who have permitted its use as a Museum and Coastwatch facility.

The ‘Lookout’, as it is affectionately referred to locally, is a watchtower located on The Esplanade in Redcar, about 3.5 miles south of the River Tees Estuary and Teesport, the 4th largest port by volume in the UK. During the late 19th century until the mid 20th century, Redcar was a popular seaside resort sharing 9 miles of golden beaches, from the South Gare Lighthouse in the North West through to the small towns of Marske and Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the South East.


Further information about Coastwatch Redcar can be seen  HERE

For further pictures from the Coast People project click  HERE 



Published by ian forsyth photography

Press and Documentary photographer covering the North of England. Stringer & contributor for Getty Images News. Prints are available to buy on my website.

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