Katherine Grainger hails the 'valuable work' being undertaken

Volunteers who keep a watchful eye on Britain’s coastline are have achieved gold medallist backing today.

Olympic rowing champion Katherine Grainger
CBE has agreed to become a Patron of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI).

NCI is a voluntary organisation set up in 1994 to
restore a visual watch along UK shores following the closure of many small
coastguard stations.

The charity now runs 49 lookout stations, with more under
negotiation, manned by more than 2,000 volunteers at no cost to the public purse.

the London Olympics in 2012, Katherine and Anna Watkins broke the Olympic
record as they qualified for the Double Sculls final and went on to win gold.

is also a three-times Olympic silver medallist and six-times World Champion.
Awarded the MBE in the 2006 Birthday Honours, she was appointed a CBE in the
2013 New Year’s Honours for services to rowing.

Richards, Chairman of NCI, said: ‘We are both honoured and delighted that
Katherine Grainger has agreed to become a Patron of NCI and I very much look
forward to her involvement with, and support for, the charity as we approach
our 20th anniversary in 2014 and continue to grow as a partner in
the UK Search and Rescue organisation.’

Katherine Grainger said: ‘I am delighted to become
a Patron of NCI. I knew only a little about the work that it undertakes and
have really enjoyed learning more about the organisation and everything it

‘So many people willingly give up their time to do tasks about which
the public are either unaware or undervalue and, if I can help in any way to
promote their valuable work, I shall be more than happy to do so.’