Thursday, 29 April 2010

Kit Night

Kit night is not just about the equipment, there is cleaning of station and now the warmer weather has arrived two of the team have decided to tidy up around the back of the station.

John and Dee were busy filling in holes and gathering up sticks and rubbish so the grass can get established.

There was talk of a fountain, picnic bench and bbq.........keep you posted

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Monday, 26 April 2010


When we had the Mayors visit, Tom decided it best to get his new pair of overalls out rather than use his normal one.

Like a child at Christmas he ripped the packet open, gloating he was the only one with a clean pair and how they fitted him so well (I'm sure you have gone up a size Tom??)
Anyway it was sometime before the little problem was spotted.......yes the clothing people must have miss heard the order, Yes Swanage not Swansea !

See our cousins in Wales get a little extra written on their kit, perhaps someone can confirm the rumor it means "Guardian of the Sea?"

So our new member Tom Jones will be keeping his new suit just to be different!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Your in safe hands

Like a major DIY store on a Wednesday, we also run special days out for a certain age group and today it was the turn of Terry and Eric.

Despite the looks, (yes we think he looks like Inspector Frost on the TV series A Touch of Frost), Terry is the Team's medical advisor and through his advice (sometimes at the end of the telephone) and his skill people's injuries have been treated a lot quicker and improved their recovery.

So as the patrol headed down the ferry road they came across a young man who had fallen off his bike and with skin versus tarmac, there is only one winner!
So our secret weapon got straight into action and started treatment until the ambulance arrived.

Every team should have one.....

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Rock Samphire

A perrenial member of the carrot family, it is distinctive and rather beautiful plant with succulent grey- green leaves and delicate white flower heads . Great with fish or steamed or boiled with butter.

Rock Samphire grows on the Dorset coast but doesn't like to get it's feet wet.

Shipwrecked off Beachy Head in 1821 four shipwrecked sailors clung to rocks in total darkness with the tide coming in fast. About to take the desperate step of trying to swim to shore before the rising tide overwhelmed them, a flash of lightning revealed a patch of Rock Samphire. They now knew that the sea would never cover the rock completely and that they would be safe until daybreak when they were rescued.

Source: River Cottage Handbook No.5 Edible Seashore: John Wright and Hugh Fearnly-Whatshisname.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A rescue to far?

Colleagues down at Charmouth were called out yesterday to somebody who had built his own boat, set sail and got 400 metres before having to be rescued !

Members of the public called 999 when the amateur yacht man got into trouble, Coastguards and lifeboat crews proceeded and towed the "vessel" (if one can call it that???) to shore where some strong words of advice were given.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


The Mayors and Mayoress of Dorset along with the High Sheriff of Dorset visited the station today for a talk and tour.

So preparation was the key to the event and above shows Eric taking the sun and drinking tea between the two groups.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Busy Day

Busy day down the station today.

First thing this morning a couple of the team had their medicals to ensure they were fit enough to be Coastguard Rescue Officers........thankfully no problems.

Terry and I then headed out on a patrol, lots of people about but thankfully no incidents.

Tonight was training, deputy blog forgot and thought we were having a secret meeting and then realised it was in fact training.
Tonight's training was communications, map reading and local knowledge. The team were given map references via radio and then they had to drive to that location and confirm what was found, like a telephone box. To ensure there was no cheating the team had to give the telephone box number or we followed them in another vehicle, the final test was for Dee to navigate from Wytch farm back to the view point using the map.......everyone got home safely.

Monday, 19 April 2010


Looks like Austen and Ian have been cleaning the station for the Dorset mayors visit on Wednesday. I think we have about 50 or so mayors popping down for tea and biscuits.

I bet they get the posh biscuits rather than the scratty budgens value biscuits the team get at training!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hedging your bets on the Zig Zag Path

I can confirm that Terry definitely did not fall face first into a hedge yesterday afternoon at Zig Zag Path. At no point, whatsoever did he slip and end upsidedown in the undergrowth.

In fact I don’t know why I am writing this blog because it definitely did not all...ever.

Phew! Terry I think you got away with it..... ;-)

Friday, 16 April 2010


I was asked last night if the Coastguard Helicopters are affected with the current "Ash Cloud".

Speaking to the Operations Room this morning, the aircraft are restricted but each incident is looked at case by case by both the Coastguard and RCC Kinloss (the RAF oversee all rescue aircraft in the UK).

Already Rescue helicopters have flown seriously ill people around the country

Thursday, 15 April 2010


When the team and vehicle go out and then return there is still work to be done.

Yesterdays incident involved the team searching around Old Harry for a male that Police were concerned for. Having searched for several hours the volunteer team confirmed they had searched the area along with the ILB crew and helicopter crew and nothing was found.

Later Police confirmed the male was safe and well in Poole.

As the call was during the day, the team members had been called away from work so they have to get back as quick as possible so its a case of put the equipment back but not very straight!

So this afternoon it was a case of hanging clothing back on the right pegs! Reload the trailer with everything as the lighting equipment was taken out and then all the paper work to go with the incident.

Read the incident in the station log, complete the CG12 then the teams CG13's.


I take a day off yesterday and head up to London and just as I'm wondering around the science museum the phone starts ringing saying there is a search incident at Old Harry!

Sorry I'm not there today........

I will head up to the station to find out what happened.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Wednesday afternoon and the team are paged to a search at Old Harry Rocks. A patrol was put out later to continue the search. At this stage due to operational security reasons we are unable to go into further detail.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Just before 19:00 and Deputy Blog and his missus were coming back from Coop when they were overtaken by the Coastguard Truck with trailer. Truck and trailer means cliff job so it was a quick but careful drive up to Durlston Country Park. On arrival it became apparent that a deer had fallen over the cliff and was in need of rescue. Austen and Tom started the was their job after all.

After 20 minutes of searching using the cliff equipment nothing was found. Shortly thereafter the Sea Safari 2 (the boat who called the Coastguard initially) came to the base of the cliffs and pointed out where the deer had landed.

Austen decided it was a lifeboat job and the Swanage Inshore Rescue Boar (IRB) were requested and quickly on scene. After some tooing and throwing the deer, which was battered and bruised, was brought on board the IRB before a quick dash to Durlston Bay to release it in order that it might recover on its own.

See the deer, smiley Sam and the crew here...

...and some clifftop shots also:-

Thanks to the Sea Safari 2, Swanage IRB and Heather, Ian and Sue who lent a hand.

“So what sort of deer was it?” I hear you ask

... no idea.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Equipment trials

Pip the big boss has come up with some new incident officer jackets, they are still being worked on, but as usual the Swanage team took the trial on and tested the jacket for every occasion.

Would the pocket take a whole packet of biscuits? Thankfully yes, now just got to find where to put the torch!

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Yesterday morning some of the operations room staff at Portland met up at Durlston and began a coastal walk to Studland. With Austen as their guide they headed off to Peveril Point and then to Swanage Lifeboat house for a tour of the boat and a talk by the Operation Manager Capt. Hardy.
On wards to the pier and then for a coffee and tour of the station where I took over and Austen had to sit down having worn his legs out.
We then headed down Burlington Chine and the beach to look at the landslips before heading up Sheps Hollow where the party headed to Ballard whilst I went to pick up the vehicle !

We all met up again between Handfast point and Old Harry and from there it was a stroll to the finishing point at the Bankes Arms Studland which strangley is a pub and most had a fine lunch and then to be taken back to Durlston and their cars.

An excellent morning and great to see our colleagues from the Ops room.

Friday, 9 April 2010


Last weeks rain caused a rather large puddle out the front of the station. Yesterday the project manager for the building came to have a look and make her final report before handing the building over to the MCA, the water was a big issue.

Hopefully someone will think a new drain is required but in the meantime its out with the brush to sweep away the mud.

Last night was training which will feature on another blog along with our new radios

Monday, 5 April 2010

Austen being prepared

We know we have been having pager problems over the last week, but clearly Austen has taken matters just a little to far?

When Gareth and I returned from patrol we found Austen at the station and for some reason he had two pagers on? (We added a third for the photo!)

So Austen what was this all about? Battery failure we were told?? Hang on two pagers, and stood outside the Coastguard Station with the radio on......your not going to miss much are you!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

All quiet

It's been a rather quiet far

Danger Mines Part 3

Research continues into the tragic events of 13Th May 1955 and on Friday night I spent several hours with the team at the Swanage Museum who kindly gave me access to some old records from the war.

The files were fascinating , and have given me a lot more information on the event prior and after the incident. Above is a poster I found in the file warning the public of the dangers prior to the bomb disposal team coming back to sweep the beach again.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Pager part 2

Austen is in trouble............

Last night he texted me to say he was going to carry out a pager test to ensure every one's was working.

Ok I replied, does everyone know?

Yes he said I've text them........OK

Pager then goes off, great they are all working.

Sadly not every one got the text in time and thought the pager was going off for real.

Tom left his pint in the pub, running out the door to phone Portland only to discover the text from Austen, dam, walks back in pub to find his drink missing!

Gareth, eating his tea, leaps up , heads to the station, only to find this was a test! Walks back home to discover tea finished by wife! Gareth still waiting for the text from Austen.

Well I guess we know the pagers worked, just have to work on the communication skills now!

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Pager

The Coastguard Pager, the vital piece of equipment to tell the team member they are required, coming in different colours (Swanage's are all green) and with HM Coastguard written on the front in case we forget who we belong too.

The other night, for some reason the pagers failed, this could be a number of reasons.
1) Finger error at the MRCC (pushing keys can sometimes go wrong, some poor person else where got a rude alarm call at 23.50!)
2) Technology failure,
3) Little gremlins in the system

Anyway whatever the reason, we have tested the pagers and all seem to be working again so we will never know.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

3rd time unlucky?

The incident the last night was to a yacht 4 miles east of Old Harry, it began for us with a phone call as for some reason our pagers failed to activite.

"Evening its Portland Coastguard we have a job for you",
"O the pager didn't go off",
"Well we sent it " said Portland Coastguard"Its to the yacht Kite",
"again" I replied, "this is the 3rd time we have dealt with the yacht"
"We know, Swanage Lifeboat has launched but communications are poor can you get up Old Harry"
"On my way"

Now don't get me wrong getting called out to anyone in distress is why I'm a Coastguard, once is unfortunate, twice ummmm but three times ????

Lets say the matter is being looked in.


Following a complaint that earlier in the week I gave away the plot line for ‘Hound of Baskervilles’ I’ve decided to be mean and spoil some more endings:-

Jaws – It’s a shark the does it.
Jaws 2 – Same story different shark.
Jaws 3D – Yup, same story again, another shark but in 3D
Jaws 4 – They trot the rubber shark for a fourth and final time; Sir Michael Cain puts in an equally rubber performance.
Sink the Bismarck- They sink the Bismarck, the Germans are not best pleased.
Piranha - Guess what it’s Piranhas that do it.
Alligator – Yup an alligator is involved, and a damn big one at that.
Titanic – I’m afraid the boat sinks towards the end – if it sank at the start, mercifully it would have been a shorter film.

Oh and one last one…

Star Wars – Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Dad.