Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chile Earthquake - Tsunami

Following on from the devastating earthquake in Chile last week has been the risk of Tsunami across the Pacific. (A Tsunami being a large ocean wave – not necessary high - but a wave that might last 15 minutes rather than just a few seconds.) Hawaii and Easter Island were most at risk; apparently the tsunami wave wraps around an island so all that shores are inundated, not just the ones facing the wave. Very frightening.

It appears the threat has now passed.

After the Boxing Day Tsunami a better system of warnings was put in place by these chaps:-

It’s an informative website and was updated regularly over the past few days allowing governments from Australia to Japan the time to steady themselves should the worst happen.

It’s worth a five minute read.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Weather Warning

Brian's Joke.

One of Brian’s jokes from the meal the other night:-

We had a call out the other day to Old Harry Rocks, apparently a dog jumped over the cliff into the sea. Luckily there was a German fishing boat in the area. One crewman jumped overboard and swam towards the rocks and rescued the dog bringing it ashore. The dog had hurt itself but the German fisherman managed to treat it.

I said “Are you a vet?”

He said "Of course I am vet, I have just jumped into the sea!"

......oh dear!

Coastguard Safety Advert

Friday, 26 February 2010

Operation Stuff-ya-face

Gurkha – Poole 19:30 Hours- Commencing Operation Stuff-ya-face

The Team and families deployed to the Ghurkha ‘All you can eat for £12 buffet’ Restaurant in Poole last. On arrival at scene I can report cold beers.

Above: A plate of food (obviously).

A risk assessment was undertaken identifying that the chicken balls and chocolate fudge cake were most likely to be the biggest casualties on the night.

The team deployed around the room quickly taking up positions either end of the buffet table. Operations then commenced.

Straight into the action was Brian’s better half Eve who tucked away a couple of sushi, Austen went for soup, while Gareth and Terry piled into the samosas. From the other end of the table John and family demolished a crispy duck…or three. Dee smashed through some crispy seaweed.

After a quick situation report on our initial findings it was back to buffet table for rounds two, three, four, five, and six (and 11 in John’s case). Gareth made the fatal mistake of going for rice and naan with a curry; this was a school boy error costing vital tummy space. Austen polished off more crispy duck than you could shake a stick at, while Terry sat in the corner finishing off his chicken balls which turned out to be dumplings. Ian had some salad.

Above: The chefs knocking up some crispy duck for Austen

Just when we thought we were to close down operations Eve and Brian decided that there was room for a slice of chocolate cake. The chocolate cake had fallen into a chilled glass cabinet in the corner of the room near the bar and it was likely that its extraction would prove difficult. After careful planning and weighing up rescue options Brian braved it. Rather than some fancy pincer movement or distraction technique he walked straight up to the chiller cabinet, bold as brass, snatched open the door and rescued two slices. That’s Brian for you, the no nonsense/ no fear technique. He’s the sort of guy you need in a chocolate cake stand off and proved his worth again

Seeing how easy it was the rest of the team piled in for a slice of the action…or chocolate cake as it were. Austen had a final crispy duck.

Coastguards and families then settled up, and returned to base.

Cas No. 1412
Time Tasked 19:30 Time Released 22:10

…..meanwhile in other news it appears that the ducks over at Poole Park mysteriously disappeared over night.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Not Again!

Yes the vehicle got stuck at Studland again!......but hang on 1st of all it wasn't me at the wheel (its in fact the Station Officer of the Southbourne Team).

The next thing is that is was stuck on purpose...yes that's right on purpose!
Now readers I'm guessing you are thinking, what are those boys up too? Government property being used in a bad way.....? OK well lets be truthful here, Phil from Southborne, Phil from St Albans and myself were lucky enough this week to go on a 4x4 course and today we spent the day driving around the patch learning what to do and NOT to do.

Now what happened in the picture above shouldn't happen but if it does, we were taught what to do. Its not about power, mud or sand flying every where, its about getting that vehicle work for you. An excellent course.......

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Doing repairs ?

A part of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's work is surveying ships, something we as Coastguard Rescue Officers dont't normally get involved in , until of course something serious goes wrong and the ships and crews need rescuing.

So as they say prevention is better than the cure and thats why the Agency takes this business very seriously.....this vessel caught my eye, a large ship, crack in the hull......fill it with a rag ! YES A RAG !

The above vessel has been detained by the MCA in Fowey after this serious breech of rules.

So as the winter closes and thoughts start turning to getting your boat back into the water, make sure those repairs are carried out properly!

Monday, 22 February 2010

“…um I’ve got the vehicle stuck”.

Some many years ago......

Above: Taken from the wall of fame..or is that shame?

Even the best of us does it (..wasn't me). What I like about this photo is that Terry is in the passenger's side just sitting there; I also like the fact that the exhaust is touching the sand.

I believe that the boss drove it up to the axles just to demonstrate to the team how not to do there’s commitment.

If I didn’t know better I’d say he reversed into it?

Chief Coastguard Commendations for Exceptional and Meritirious Service

The Chief Coastguard (Mr Rod Johnston) has just awarded his awards for 2009 for outstanding service and bravery in 2009.

Our congratulations to all those mentioned .

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Who is Driving Legend Ian Moustache?

Hello readers, Deputy Blog is back after a fortnight of flu- proper flu not man flu. I’m blaming Eric for it, while Austen and Ian who are currently suffering are blaming me.

Yesterday the Patrol concentrated on some off road driving on mud and sand which are completely different to drive on, no honestly they are. Late last year one of the ambulance drivers, Ian, (Not our Ian) who is also a trained 4wd instructor gave us all some coaching and it was good to put those skills into use.

So thanks for that training Ian Moustache.... its not his real name, I've forgotten his surname but he has a moustache, and he's a damn good driver. (Thinking about it that's a great name for a racing driver....John Surtees, Jenson Button, Stirling Moss and Ian Moustache....)

The vehicle which is heavily laden with rescue kit likes to get stuck in soft sand and no-one wants to phone Ian or Aus and say the words “…um I’ve got the vehicle stuck”. Now you wouldn’t actually get told off for getting the vehicle stuck but you would get merciless leg pulling and probably win an award at the Christmas meal. Yes you could dig it out but when that fails it’s the National Trust Tractor.

Above: The MRU (Motorised Rescue Unit) or 'Austen's Truck' as we call it... not up to its axles in sand.

Still it’s better than phoning up the ops room and saying “…um I’ve disappeared up to the bonnet in sand and I think the front wheels may have come off”.

Not that any of our team have ever done that, ...or have they Boss?

Saturday, 20 February 2010


The patrol are at the cafe having dinner.

..from an iPhone.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The big clean

With the visit from the Coastal Safety Manager on Tuesday, we headed out to the Downs for a cliff exercise, sadly the weather was not on our side.

Everything went well and the team were praised by the CSM for the exercise in such poor weather conditions.

The down side was that the equipment got very wet and muddy so the last 48 hours has seen "Operation Dry Out".

Nearly there now (thank goodness for the extra space), an excellent exercise to shake the team down after the winter training sessions!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

So Close

Can you remember when as a child you were given something for it then to be taken off you?

Well that happened to one of the team last night, poor Eric (and yes the above picture is Eric modelling this years yeti look).
The boss brought Eric a new helmet, let him put it on for us to have a look and then decided as we have a different type, he would take it back as he would look the odd one out! (Odd one out?? hold on with that facial hair I think he's ahead in that game).

So coming to a team near you soon is this new type of Coastguard helmet....worn for less than 5 minutes and then taken back to the store cupboard.

Next month's training.........learning how to order 12 new helmets so we all look the same!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Quick Check

Austen and I have just been to the station to ensure there is nothing at the station that shouldn't be ready for our visit tomorrow of the Coastal Safety Manager.

Thankfully not too many items have crept in, Austen's magazines, the mini bar were the only things we thought might cause us a problem.

We shall see how the visit goes.......

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Not much to report

Good news........! There isn't much to report to you . Patrols have been out and about both Saturday and Sunday and whilst there are lots of people about, thankfully they are all taking care out there.

The week ahead, Tuesday is training with a possible visit by the Area Operations Manager or the Coastal Safety Manager (Southern) or what ever he may be called this week! (Coastguard do like to change their titles on a regular basis).

Being half time, we expect the area to be busy so will see what occurs.

Friday, 12 February 2010

The Future's bright the future is Orange!

This week the Government has announced the company that will be taking over all SAR helicopters around the country as of 2012.

All RN, RAF and Coastguard Helicopters will come together and provide rescue helicopters at 12 bases around the country. The contract is for 25 years so worth a few pounds.

I did read somewhere that the new helicopters will be in an orange and black colour scheme....look forward to seeing the design for that!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The 800th post

The recent request to show the last 5 years incidents showed the following :

12 Incidents with bomb disposal teams.

16 Incidents involving animals, I believe dogs mostly and one deer.

287 Incidents at sea.

27 Miscellaneous incidents.

7 Pollution incidents.

47 Cliff Rescues

71 Medical Incidents

33 Investigations

63 Searches for missing people

18 Minor Incidents.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

NCI part 2

A very enjoyable evening at the Sailing Club listening to how NCI Swanage has operated and will be operating this year.

There will be some hard work painting their lookout at Peveril (once the weather has improved). Still they have 40 + watch keepers to help as well as carry out their watch duties.

We look forward to working with them this year.


Tonight is the AGM of Swanage NCI (7pm) at Swanage sailing club.

Hopefully I will be attending to see what happens with our local NCI lookout based at Peveril Point.

More on this later.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Another Day

Just finished training tonight for our newer members of the team, tonight Coastguard forms and basic radio procedures.

Whilst not much is happening out on the coast, there is a lot of paper work being requested

Tonight I've been asked for the last 5 years worth of incidents!

So sorry this is short but there is just short of 500 incidents to go through.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A year on

It's hard to believe we have been in the new station a year now!

To mark the occasion the team and families came together for a breakfast roll and coffee.

This year Eric turned up (he missed the opening ceremony as he reckoned he was stuck in Ireland with the snow......we think he in fact got locked in that "famous Irish drink" factory)

Mud, mud glorious mud.

This afternoon's Patrol went out to Dancing Ledge to check gates and re-familiarise ourselves with the access tracks so that they can be covered at speed or at speed at night as required.

We stopped halfway and did the rest on foot so not to plough the farmer's fields up too much!

And then on return to!

..from an iPhone.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Taking training seriously

Thursday night, training and a full set up of equipment for going over the cliff.

The picture above shows the cliff technician balancing with the standard cup of coffee, with Tom hanging on to the quad pod (its got 4 legs hence being called a quad!) just in case Brian should slip.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Advertisement:- Apple iBag

Apple iBag for iPhones

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Are you one of those buffoons who jumps in the swimming pool only to find you’ve left your iPhone in your trunk pockets; yes we've all done it. Well if you are here’s a product for you.

.....the all new Apple iBag

Above:- The iBag

Above:- iBag with iPhone

Only 29p

• Folds Up & Reusable
• Apple Logo
• Lightweight transparent technopolyplastic
• As supplied to HM Coastguard
• Waterproof (to depths not exceeding 3m)
• Easy To use - almost idiot-proof
• Fits all iPhone variants 3, 3G and 3GS

• Also doubles as a sandwich bag!

Available in shops, and online at Terry’

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Mobile Phones

In today's modern rescue service, a mobile phone is useful. Urgent updates back to the control room, photo's taken to assist in training or for passing to the bomb disposal teams.

Even when our pagers go off and its a team call out, I normally back the page up with a text message so the team know what they are about to get.

A mobile phone .......useful but not waterproof!

Waterproof ( and someone is bound to point out there is a phone on the market that is waterproof) I hear you ask? Did someone drop a phone off a cliff into the water, did someone walk along the pier and it fall out of a pocket?

If only the story was just that, fancy someone on holiday in the sun jumping into the swimming pool and then realising their phone is in their swimming trunk pocket.....priceless!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Land Slip

Visitors to the North end of the bay, will have noticed this large land slip near to the Pines Hotel.

It goes to show the effects of a slip and how man made objects are just smashed to bits as the ground moves.

Just a reminder that its best to stay off any land slip as quite often the ground is still moving and also being very wet the risk of get stuck is much greater.