Published: 30 August 2023

Tell us about Kittiwake Charters…

Kittiwake Charters is a brand new and exciting charter experience operating out of Ilfracombe in North Devon. Promoting and protecting the marine environment will be at the forefront of the activities on offer with a focus on responsible wildlife observation, conservation, and education. Plastic fishing and remote beach cleaning will replace traditional sporting pursuits and offer an alternative to casual visitors and corporate clients. 

Kittiwake Charters is owned and operated by two local families who are passionate about North Devon and their coastal ‘community’ both above and below the waves.  

Where are you based? 

To the east of Ilfracombe lies the spectacular and remote Exmoor coast with the highest sea cliffs in England and is mostly inaccessible from the land. To the west the vast sweep of Bideford Bay and where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean you find Lundy Island, the first ever Marine Conservation Area and a paradise for wildlife. 

Tell us about the Kittiwake vessel… 

Ilfracombe Harbour on the North Devon coast will be the home port of their newly acquired Lochin 33 which has now been renamed Kittiwake from her former Welsh name of Morio Mon. Purchased from Bangor in North Wales, Kittiwake had undergone an extensive refit by a local boatyard and was the perfect vessel for the business.  

How did the YDSA help you? 

Local YDSA Coding surveyor, Mark McGarry, NW Surveying Services, conducted the pre-purchase survey which included coding requirements and a stability test was carried out.  

With nothing adverse uncovered the purchase went ahead and in January the vessel was relocated by sea to Ilfracombe, a journey of approximately 224 miles over two days. Work then took place to meet the coding requirements and at the end of May, Mark took the time to travel to Ilfracombe and completed the final inspection.  

What’s next for Kittiwake Charters? 

Kittiwake Charters has now been formed and the first charter to Lundy Island took place in June with almost perfect weather conditions and the excitement of a pod of dolphins accompanying the vessel over the final part of the crossing. 

The crew will share with passengers their knowledge and experience of the local waters and the coastline and the effect of the choices we make to the marine environment. They intend to encourage schools and the young to be fully engaged in organised and fun conservation work and will collaborate with likeminded organisations to provide an on-water extension to their land-based projects. 

The Kittiwake team state “Pre-planned and impromptu plastic fishing is their sport of choice! During wildlife and coastline trips they will always stop to collect plastic and ensure that the schedule allows time to do this important work. Through knowledge of the tides and weather they will carry our dedicated ‘fishing’ trips to known hotspots at these times. Using state of the art electronics they will plot sightings of build ups of pollution which will be recorded, and the data shared around our partner organisations.” 

For more information, please contact Dave Mannering:

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August 2023

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