Friday, 31 July 2009

Kayak Racing Vs Salty Old Sea Dogs

At 7.00 sharp the kayak racing began. The Clock Tower to Ocean Bay. This was interesting in itself but for more amusement there were two men in a little boat. Swanage Coastguard's own Tom and Austen providing safety cover - off duty. Ian and I provided safety cover for the safety cover if that makes sense.

We have been trying to think who this lovely couple remind us of.....

is it Jack and Rose (Titanic), Captain Barbosa and his monkey... Pugwash and Master Baits... Captain Birdseye (x2)... Captain Jack (and his) Sparrow.... the Owl and the Pussy Cat. Answers on a postcard please!

Thankfully everyone got safely to shore - including the safety boat!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

It's a Knockout - Hitting people with sticks.

I not sure what this event was called – so I’ve named it ‘Hitting people with sticks’. Basically stand on an inflatable mushroom and belt seven bells out of your opponent.

Austen was dead good at this but then he was up against a girl. In the spirit of equal opportunities he decided not to take it easy but belted her.

An unfair fight ...yes, entertainment ...yes.

Above: Evil Austen showing no quarter.

The crowd boo’d and hissed.....but we got the points.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

It's a Knockout - Plank Racing

We should be good at this one what with the teamwork element to it. Basically strap 6 blokes to 2 planks of wood and walk them down the field. How difficult can it be!!!

Well it was difficult, made even more so by members of the team accidently destroying said walking planks within 2 seconds of the start. Never mind.

To make up for this the team ‘Accidently on purpose’ knocked over the scoring board -which was purely a distraction to so that we could change the scores. Suddenly Dorset Search and Rescue’s (DORSAR) score of 6 became a 1!

How that happened they’ll never know….unless they are reading this blog.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Day 3 of Carnival

Monday, not much for us today, however as the mobile was having a run around the patch, we came across a nasty accident on the Corfe to Studland road. Thankfully the driver of the car had got out of the upturned car and Gareth and I practised our traffic management skills.

In the evening the chaps went down to monitor the swim and ended up with two casualties.

Monday, 27 July 2009

It's a Knockout - Zorb Racing

It’s a Knockout

Saturday was ‘It’s a Knockout’ with guest commentator the Coastguard’s own Eric Hudson (Much better than Stuart Hall). Eric spent the afternoon laughing into a microphone.
Above: Coastguard Eric Comentatificating

Five events in total which I’ll review over the next few days.

One of the events was ‘Zorb Racing’ ????? Basically a person stuffed in a big blow up ball racing up and down Sandpit field. This is the event that we actually won hands down, admittedly we cheated, but we won nevertheless.

Above: Ian stuffed in a Zorb - bit like a chicken kiev.

We thought carefully about team selection and opted for Ian, Rid and ‘Normal Brian’ inside the ball. We were going to put the larger lads in namely Austen, Gareth and ‘Big Brian’ (Colin) but…

(a) they would not fit…..and
(b) even if they did, if that ball got rolling, the potential energy derived from those big chaps would be unstoppable. The Zorb ball would have no doubt veered off through the Pimms Tent, The Dunkin Donuts Stall and the Kite Tent before mowing down hundreds of people on the seafront. It was simply not worth the risk.

Ian hurt his ankle, Brain got dizzy and Rid was nearly sick…being a Coastguard is well dangerous.

Austen.....we need a chat

Clearly running a Coastguard team can be stressful, so Austen has decided to cover his grey hair ......with blue!
Watch out this week for others in the team with this strange 'outbreak' of rebellion!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Carnival Day two

Day Two in the little world of Swanage.

Arrived at the station at 11.00 to try and catch up on the paper work, several visitors to the station asking to use the toilet as the public ones were closed, unfortunately due to health reasons we can not allow the public to use the facilities, most fully understood how one lady took offence.

Moved down to the sea front and had a walk around Sandpit field, then back to the station to collect the trailer and coats.

Got ready for the procession at 3 and thankfully the rain just about stopped, slightly slower procession this year and without incident!

Got everyone home and finally closed down just before 7pm

Carnival day one

An interesting day one of Carnival week......

Arrived at the station at 10.30, sorted the kit and made a few phone calls to ensure people were where they were meant to be.

Made coffee and then spent the next 30 minutes directing traffic around North Beach Car Park or explaining why the toilets are not open yet! Taped the back of the station off to ensure the back of the station wasn't used as a toilet.
One little interesting story, whilst stood in the door way of the station a young group were unloading their car, one said, why are those spaces taped off? a male in the group said I expect its so the Police can hide up here to eat their sandwiches. I wasn't to happy so I calmly explained why those two extra spaces were taped off, a rather embarrassed male walked off.
Not the best start to the day but knowing the effort from Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, Lifeboat etc I was not having anyone knocked.

Austen turned up in fancy dress (Tarzan?) and check over the kit and then Gareth arrived, explaining I had already missed one team meeting this morning.

Down to the sea front, and then its a knock out. Thankfully it wasn't a knock out for any one but special thanks to Colin, 'I really look like a bigger version of Brian' for boosting the muscle power on the team and Ian Welsh for holding 9 pagers, several radios, a good selection of mobile phones, keys and wallets...........if anyone sees Ian can they let us know!

We manged to have a small incident on the beach, before grabbing lunch and realising it was nearly time to get Red 10 for the Red Arrows.

The Red arrows were fab, unlike my cooking for the BBQ! The team re grouped for the fireworks before finally retiring at 10.30 pm.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Yakitty Yak - Don't Talk Back.....

Apparently a Yak is coming to the carnival to put on an air display after the Red Arrows on Saturday evening.

Yes a Yak.

Above: Big Hairy Yak

Now I’m no rocket scientist or aeronautical engineer, but with my limited physics and biology skills I can say for definite that the above beast is unlikely to fly, and unlikely to put on much of an air display.

Now I might be wrong.

To be fair I’d pay good money into those red carnival charity buckets to see a big hairy cow doing loop the loops in the sky above Swanage. There’s probably a cheap joke about ‘pats on the head’ to made at this point but I’ll steer clear. (Steer clear gettit.?)

I am however advised that there is another Yak – namely a Yakovlev - a Russian company who manufacture aeroplanes. I could go on Google or Wikipedia and electronically copy and paste some text about the founder being Mr Yakovlev from Russia but I’ll leave you to do that.

Apparently there are about 70 different types of Yakovlev plane or Yak and I couldn’t tell you which one is coming for definite, but I’m sure it’ll be udderly brilliant.

My money is on a Yak 52.

Above: Fast Scary Yak

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Beach week continues

Well the week has not had the best weather for beach awareness, but the messages are still going out to the public

Here we have Cloud 9 (toy shop in town) assisting us with the 999 message and promoting some maritime toys. Can I just say there is no link between the Coastguard and the pirate ship!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Beach Awareness Week

Can't you tell its beach awareness week?.......its raining!

Its also day 2 of the school holidays......when do they go back?

So yesterday in that couple of hours of sunshine, I hit the beach with my little helpers to give out some wrist bands and books, and offer advice where required.

Monday, 20 July 2009

******NEWS FLASH********




Sunday, 19 July 2009

Coasteering V Tombstoning

Sometime ago someone asked the difference bettwen Coasteering and Tombstoning.
Sorry for the delay:


Involves journeying along a stretch of inter-tidal zone coastline, as part of an organised group activity.

Participants travel across rocks and through water, using a variety of techniques including climbing, scrambling, swimming and jumping into water.
Appropriate safety equipment is used for this activity.


Involves jumping or diving from a height into water.

Both are similar but coasteering tends to be more organised and of course carry a certain amount of risk.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Well done to everyone who ran the Swanage half marathon today. Looked like hard look especially the climb out of Swanage and the hill on the back lane near Corfe Castle; ouchers.

I hear the local running club Purbeck Runners did well -

A Coastguard Patrol was put out to provide support if neccesary, and 3 other lads worked as First Responders - they had all the bandages and the defibi-thingwotsit, while Austen and I had a bar of Cadbury's chocolate. We obviously had the better deal.

Amusingly to us we were commenting on peoples running styles like we were some sort of coaching experts 'he needs to get his knees up.....a bit flat footed....stop waving your arms around" - says us sitting in the truck eating chocolate.

Still well done to all including the Carnival Committee who worked hard to make the event the sucess it was.

And well done to team member Terry for agreeing to run it next year.

Boys Toys

Now we have room, it means we can get the toys out on display! Despite a clear sign "DO NOT TOUCH", this did'nt stop the DSO playing and acting out a couple missions!

Sadly as this is a family blog, I can not display what he did with some of the figures

First Responders

If we go to plan the Swanage First Responder Scheme will start at 9.30 today.

At this stage the responder scheme is separate to the Swanage Coastguard Team as discussions between HM Coastguard and South Western Ambulance continue to enable the Coastguard team to become Co responders.

So to whats the difference between First and Co responders ?

First Responders - Wear the uniform of South Western Ambulance and are tasked by Ambulance Control direct.

Co Responders - In our case we would wear our Coastguard uniform and respond in the Coastguard vehicle and be tasked by Ambulance if available.

(Hope that's clear) Whilst it may be odd that we have to wear a different uniform, our Coastguard duties remain the priority, we have only taken this step to enable the community of Swanage to benefit from the equipment and training we have been given, HM Coastguard is still committed for the Swanage Team to become co responders as soon as the agreement is sorted.

It has taken two years to get to this point, the members of the team have worked hard to qualify twice!

So how does it work........?

As First Responders we will decide when we have time available to sign on with Ambulance Control, for example Friday and Saturday nights or when there is a large event going on in Swanage which creates extra visitors in the town. We sign in and then like being on call for the Coastguard wait for the text message to be sent from Ambulance Control. Having be tasked we then proceed to the incident and provide immediate first aid to the person until the Ambulance arrives.

Our Ambulance crews have a 50 mile round trip sometimes to either Poole or Dorchester Hospitals so often there is no Ambulance in the town, this is why we felt this scheme was important to the town and should start as soon as possible.

I'm sure you understand that Ambulance type incidents are very different to Coastguard incidents as we will be attending private addresses, so we will not be listing our incidents or creating an incident map. We will of course keep you posted on how the scheme goes.

End of an era

It was a very sad day on Thursday......Rid's last day at the Middle Beach Cafe at Studland.

Rid finally reached that time in his life when the "summer job" is no longer enough and the big step into the big working work was required.

So good luck Rid (fear not he's not leaving the Coastguard just yet!)

And a very big "good luck for today" as Rid will be running the Swanage 12 road race (along with his Mum, Claire aka Mrs T)

Friday, 17 July 2009

Red Arrows

Its very sad that the Red Arrows have cancelled at such short notice, I'm told they were forced to cancel due to another event, seems a little odd, I know a few people have emailed the RAF for an explanation so we wait and see.

This event was very important to the Carnival Committee and will have a major financial impact on the money they raise. A lot of work from many people has gone to waste and without the crowd, money won't go in the buckets so the charities will suffer.

At a time when we are so proud of our armed forces for their efforts around the world, its a shame we can not now show our appreciation to these wonderful ambassador's of the armed services.

Red Arrows Cancelled.

Sadly it appears that the Red Arrows are not coming to Swanage.

STOP PRESS 16/07/09 *************** Due to circumstances beyond our control the Red Arrow have just told us that they will NOT be visiting the Carnival this year, 2009. We apologise to everyone who was looking forward to seeing themEND ***************

BBQ Summer

BBQ Summer? - I think the weather people were telling fibs! (Hurricane...what hurricane!)

Still hopefully all the sun we have missed has been saved up for Carnival week.

Above:- BBQ Boss

Thursday, 16 July 2009

In Big Trouble

No blog from me today, I'm in hiding from the boss following the cymbals joke yesterday.

Apparently I'm in big trouble which will no doubt involve me hoovering the station, being dressed up in some silly costume for carnival or hung upside down in a kit harness to demonstrate what 'Suspension Trauma' is. I might even have to clean the fridge.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Swanage Carnival and Regatta Week!

Not long to go now until the Swanage Carnival and Regatta Week! 25th July - 1st August 2009

Looks like the Carnival Committee have been working hard organising bands, processions, events competitions, the Red Arrows etc etc….Loads of things going on in fact too much to mention . So much so that’ll you’ll need a Carnival Program. Available in local shops and online for visitors – all proceeds to the Carnival Committee.

Of course we’ll be there in the Carnival Procession and supporting the event by providing emergency cover throughout the week along with RNLI, Ambulance, Fire and Police. We will also be doing battle with these chaps in the ‘It’s a Knockout Event’ on the Sunday.

We'll be there.....

The Sector Manager will hopefully be down.

St Albans Team will be there.

While Ian will be playing the Cymbals again. (He''l be more careful using them this year...ouch... it made your eyes water)

Photos from Swanage Carnival website.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Union Jack - or The Union Flag?

What’s this flag called? The Union Jack or the Union Flag?

The argument stems from the fact that a ‘Jack’ is a flag that is raised on a ship - so if you see the union flag on the bow of say a warship or lifeboat then it would be correct to call it a Union Jack. Otherwise you might refer to it as the Union Flag.

Vexillologists, or 'flag smart-arses' (I know what you’re thinking, ... really boring people who have beards, wear sandals, and watch repeats of Bergerac) say that at the time of the Union in 1801 King George II proclaimed the flag as “the Union Flag”; and therefore it should be referred to as such.
The Royal Navy would agree only calling the flag the Union Jack when at sea.

However, these beardy/sandal/Bergerac-watching chaps concede that the term Union Jack is so widely utilised and renowned by the United Kingdom that there is no real objection to either being used – mmm sounds like fence sitting to me.

Incidently the BBC does not use the term "union flag" because of its "great potential for confusion", preferring "Union Jack".

Whether to use "Union Flag" or "Union Jack" is a matter of debate.

Whether to watch Bergerac is not; the body is always found in Charlie Hungerford’s swimming pool.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mountain Biker - The Pinnacles

Saturday saw a chap fall off his mountain bike above the Pinnacles, about 1 mile south of Old Harry; he had sustained neck and back injuries and was unable to move. The location was inaccessible to the ambulance and as such a full team page was set off and Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 104 (one-zero-four) scrambled from Solent.

The Swanage Team arrived on scene and assessed and stabilised the casualty and awaited the helicopter which was 20 minutes out. The weather was atrocious with a low cloud, rain and gusting wind making it a difficult operation for the helicopter.

Upon arrival the winchman was deployed with stretcher and lifting equipment allowing the team to fit a neck brace and move the casualty carefully onto the stretcher and then onto the waiting aircraft (which had now landed) for casualty evacuation to Poole Hospital. The Poole Coastguard Team and an Ambulance were ready at the Whitecliff landing site for the second transfer.

It would be fair to say that his cycle helmet took the brunt of the fall and his mountain bike buddies did the right thing in not moving him, calling the emergency services and keeping him warm.

We hope he makes a full and swift recovery.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Bouncy Bouncy - third gear please. CrUnCH!

You’re driving to a job, quickly, off road bouncing around, lights on, and raining, there’s a lot to concentrate on.

So much so that when you change from 3rd to 4th gear you accidentally put the truck into 2nd gear. The rescue truck jolts forward sharply and makes a funny noise while everyone in the truck gives the driver words of good humoured abuse. Twenty seconds later the driver does it again and this time even he is laughing. “Third time lucky mate”…. “Find them don’t grind them”…etc etc.

Still we got there in one piece.

It would be unfair to name the driver.

Brian being taught to drive by Nell (age 2 and a bit).

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A cheese singing about exotic disease.

Here's nifty public information film...A cheese singing about exotic disease.

Bring and buy?

Looking like a Blue Peter bring and buy sale, this was all our equipment out ready for our six monthly inspection by the Sector Manager.

It took about 3 hours and involves every piece of rescue equipment to be checked, including the ropes (That's 1100 metres of rope to start with!).

I'm pleased to say that every was fine and nothing taken out of service, having the new station has made a huge improvement to how we care for the equipment.

Friday, 10 July 2009

And the winner was

Following the recent poll, the winner of "Who got sun burnt" was ........

Yes the Station Officer......! The 1st to point out to others forgot to cover up whilst painting the shed. 40 minutes, that's all it took so yes it hurt and I learnt the lesson.

Sorry Ian, I'm hacking into this blog entry to bring readers an imprompto 'Spot the difference'.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Uniform order

Every year we can order a selection of uniform, July is our month so I asked who wanted what, it was going OK until we got to Rid.

"Rid whats your collar size.....?"

"Don't know"

"Shall we phone your mum?"

"Hold on" says Austen " we have a tape"

For some reason he did declined to measure his inside leg measurement!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Did I drop my wallet?

During the photo shoot the other regarding "tombstoning" there was a rumour I had dropped my wallet over the side!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Yesterday we popped down to the stone quay with the Police and beach wardens for a photo for the echo to use in a report about Tombstoning (or jumping off things in the water)

So see the echo report click below.

(Thankfully the photo was'nt printed!!!)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Anyone for Chicken?

I guess this is a time where size does matter!

The entrance to Poole harbour is a dangerous place, large ferries in, boats out and then to add to the fun the chain ferry crossing the gap.

Already this year at least two boats have hit the chain ferry.

Best advice in the above picture, STAY OUT the way, there isn't many places for the vessels to move to!

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Town is busy, and the rowers are in town (I thought they always came in Carnival week?) Anyway station is clean and tidy, ready for next week.
On monday is the 6 monthly inspection of the equipment and tuesday some people are coming to look at the toilets and the station re the snags, which is a good thing as some very kind person has used the back of the station as a toilet. My thanks to Dave Elliot who has the nasty task to come and clean the mess up........and then I have the great task of viewing the CCTV to catch the offender.

Patrol is just about to head out and see what they can find, Messrs Rockett and Simmons, so lock your doors the boys are on tour.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Studland Beach Wardens

As a member of the Studland Beach Users Action Group, we have fully supported the new beach wardens at Studland.

These new wardens work along side the National Trust Wardens and Dorset Police to reduce crime on the beach

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Training it was

Well a few turned up for training last night, some where working and others on holiday.

As it was the end of the month, I also had the paperwork to do so Austen took the chaps out on to the grass and set up the cliff equipment.

The main task was to learn the technician side of our work, or the person who goes over the cliff.

With that done and a few memos etc to read out that was it!