Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Where have we gone?

We can only apologise for the lack of blogs in the last couple of weeks .

Far from being quite the volunteers are actually really busy.

As with many teams in the UK at present there is a massive amount of work being done on stations.

The Station Officer and Deputy attended an Army engagement event at Bovington last night and flew the Coastguard flag.

Kerry represented the team today at the Beach Management meeting in Swanage and all this around the team members day jobs.

We can assure readers that the team is operational and normal blogs will return very soon.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Time and Tide waits for no man

We often get asked for advice around the tides and if you can walk to certain places at low tide.

We would never recommend anyone to walk anywhere that is covered by water. The main reason is that we can never guarantee what the tide and more importantly the conditions will do.

Wind, high or low pressures and weather all have an affect on the tides. Add in slippery rocks and no escape route and its a possible invite to meet your local coastguard team.

It may be an adventure , don't put yourself or others in danger stay to normal footpaths and observe safety signs.

#999 Coastguard

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Another weight off our minds

So another task the teams have been asked to carry out is to have the vehicles weighed.

So off we went to our local weigh-bridge to ensure we aren't over weight ( the vehicle not the volunteers)

Thanks to the staff of Ideal Skip Hire who must have been kept amused by a couple of volunteer Coastguards weighing themselves as well as the vehicle.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Flying Visit

The CG rescue helicopter from Lee On Solent visited Swanage yesterday in order to give the lifeboat crew a chance to look through it and to  understand the medical and lifesaving equipment it carries.
Just as we work closely with the lifeboats, so does the helicopter but because of the nature of the incidents there's never time to stop and talk. Hence a visit such as yesterday's where there's no casualty and no urgency is invaluable.
The Coastguard volunteers first  prepared the Peveril Point landing site and gave the all clear for the helicopter to land, and whilst the lifeboat crew looked round the helicopter, the team chatted to the flight crew - which usually consists of a minimum of a pilot and co-pilot, a paramedic winchman and a winch operator.
Afterwards there was time for a quick photo with the crew before they headed back to Hampshire.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Behind the Scenes

Being a member of the Coastguard Rescue Service isn't just about being on the front line in searches and rescues - there's a lot goes on behind the scenes too.

We often show you pictures of our training sessions and kit nights and these happen regularly every month.  But we rarely mention the record keeping and audit trail that goes with every piece of kit we use, with every training session we undertake, with every rescue we perform and indeed with every visit we make to the station.

To ensure uniformity and traceability right across the country, all record keeping must be to the same spec - on the correct forms, with the correct issue number and correct branding, all entries in the station log must show precise details and be written in the correct colour pen - red, green, blue or black - according to the rank of the writer and/or the nature of entry  (routine visit or a SAR tasking).
The equipment manifests must show the serial numbers of every piece of equipment we carry as well as dates of issue and life expectancy. The equipment is also listed on an Operational Readiness checklist which has to show exactly where each piece of equipment is kept  - and if it is in the vehicle, whereabouts in the vehicle (which box or bag number and location eg the Nearside or Offside of the luggage area).
Once checked, most of the rope rescue equipment is stowed in a secure bag; the bag has to be tied in a particular way with a particular knot and a security tag threaded through in a particlar way and initialed and dated. Water rescue equipment isn't bagged and tagged, but its location has to be recorded still in the Operational Readiness checklist.

The team has used this quieter time of the year to double check that we are following the national standard for record keeping; the volunteers have spent many many hours since the New Year checking data entries and pen colours, cross referencing dates, checking that documents have been printed on the correct issue paperwork within approved brand guidelines and generally having a Spring Clean of anything that doesn't fit with the nationally approved systems.

In addition to this behind the scenes admin, we've also managed to attend four incidents in that period - including a person over the cliff at Old Harry and a large multi agency search at Studland - as well as continued liaison with local stakeholders and agencies regarding the slip at Sheps Hollow, five training sessions and a kit check night.  Oh, and all go to our full time jobs in between times!

So yes - being part of the team is about Search and Rescue but there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes too.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Tale of Two Ians

We were joined at training tonight by Ian Welsh, one of our CG colleagues from Kimmeridge who, along with our own Ian, has been rolling out some practical first aid sessions to the teams across the sector.
The scenarios we played out included the extraction of a casualty who had fallen through a roof and needed removing from under a pile of debris and a couple of individuals who had suddenly collapsed in a confined space and who were both unresponsive.
Thanks to Ian and Ian for running the session and to Sophie for being our casualty

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Team requested to put signage up

The team headed out this afternoon to put warning signs up at Sheps Hollow.

There is a lot of considerations made before we put signage out along with discussions with partner agencies.

Too much signage and its ignored, no signage and people are put at risk.

Some years ago we rescued 3 people who had got stuck in mud flows and the cliff at Sheps Hollow could see the same situation.

The clay is very soft with a risk of people or small dogs getting stuck.

A fair amount could still come down , mixed with high tides can create very soft sand.

The beach remains open but with a warning that there could be areas of soft sand and clay.

Coastal emergencies - 999 Coastguard.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Active Slip

The recent weather has again causes some slips out at Sheps Hollow.

There is still a risk of being cut off by the tide further up from this location. Ensure you know what the tide is doing.

The slips are mostly soft clay so keep away and don't climb on them.

In a coastal emergency 999 Coastguard.

Sunday, 5 February 2017


The highlight of today's patrol was out at studland to watch the starlings in action.

Just how many are there ?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Thank you

Last week at the annual National Coastwatch dinner we made a presentation to the 'Saturday watch' for their involvement during an incident last year.

The incident saw the watch keepers dealing with a tragic incident when someone fell from cliffs at Peveril Point.

In the early stages , until the Coastguard and other emergency services arrived the NCI watch keepers went beyond their normal duties in assisting the services.

We felt that service should be acknowledged and presented a letter of thanks.

A personal thank you from the Station Officer to the ' Saturday Watch' today as not all could attend the original presentation.