Saturday, 31 July 2010

Busiest Month Ever !

Despite our current situation with cut backs and reducing costs someone forgot to tell the public!

As July closes we have just had the busiest month ever in the history of the team with 39 incidents, hard work for a group of volunteers.

Diving incidents seem to make up a bulk of the call outs, but then we also had a 500lb bomb and a heath fire which were a little unusual.

With all the call outs come the "behind the scenes" work to ensure the equipment, vehicles and team are ready for the next call out.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Jelly anyone?

This jelly fish was found on the beach at Studland this week. We were told this type was safe and did not sting, however some species do so our advice is never to touch one.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

I had a little accident

Whilst giving some training today at Studland I managed to drop the car keys down between the gaps in the decking........and i was the only one small enough to go and get them, however whilst I went and got the boat hook, the DSO managed to get them out but didn't tell me.

Carnival and Its a Knockout

With Swanage Carnival on Sunday we thought we best polish the truck and car. So Rid and Nick set to work while Gareth and Tom went to collect spare kit from the ambulance station, oh and have chat and eat some biscuits. When they got back the truck was nice and shiny! Sorry chaps. Meanwhile Austen sorted the plumbing , John some maintenance out back, while Ian sorted out the end of month paperwork.

We're all looking forward to the Its A Knockout on Saturday. We may have man mountain Big Brian (Brian's big little brother) and Tam from the ambulance team who volunteered to join in. What a team.....

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Weever Fish

Well with the warm weather we are likely to get visitors to the beach this summer, but not necessary welcome ones!

....I’m talking Weever Fish.

Above:- Grumpy looking Weever Fish

These pesky little blighters like sunning themselves in warm shallow water, nothing wrong with this, but they have sharp spines in their dorsal fins which if you step on them hurt like…um well it is excruciating. If you sit on one, it’s a double helping of ouchers!

If you are unfortunate enough to be on the sharp end the best remedy is putting the area in water as hot as you can take, (a footbath or ice cream tub) keep topping this up with hot water; normally bang on one hour the pain suddenly goes away. Naturally if the person has allergy issues you may also wish to seek and ambulance also.

Two ways of preventing a sting in the first place are (i) wearing sandals or crocs in the water or (ii) not going in the water, neither a good solution to be fair. We get a few in Swanage each year but given the hundreds of thousands of beach visits you would have to be pretty unlucky to step on one. I spent my childhood in and out of the sea most days and it would be fair to say that neither I nor my friends ever got stung.

You should try being stung by a lionfish, wow that really did hurt! Luckily they don't visit Swanage.

Just a little footnote......The Swanage Beach Wardens deal very well with these incidents.

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Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Above: Ian and his sausages.

There's a Team BBQ next weekend which will no doubt result in a major job half way through.

The boss asked how many people were coming, one chap said 10 friends. He was immediately rumbled for telling fibs as he doesn’t have ten friends. It would appear that the cunning plan was that these ten friends would not turn up and then he would have the opportunity to eat all the extra burgers and sausages that were left over.

In other news I have been told not to feed Austen. The text simply said “Don’t Feed Austen’. I don’t know why and I’m not going to ask…..

Monday, 26 July 2010

A short clip

There is a short film coming out to promote Swanage in the Summer.

Here is a short clip.

*****The casualty shown in the clip is an actor and the injuries are make up*****

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Busy Weekend

Sorry for the lack of blogs this weekend, its been a bit busy around, 5 incidents on Saturday and 2 today.

Updates to follow during the week.

Friday, 23 July 2010

More important people and Dave

Sadly whilst a photograph of the beach wardens, Police and Coastguard was being taken, Dave got upset that he wasn't in the picture, so Emma stepped in and made his day.

Anything to keep the peace!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Gone with the Wind

Today's incident had this craft blown out to sea.......please be aware off off shore winds when at the beach.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Bomb

Sandwiched between sandbags is a 500 pound American bomb found near to Little Sea. Dropped around 1944 when the Armed Forces were practising for D Day this bomb had laid about 4 ft down until an EOD team picked it up during a routine survey at Studland.

Odd sites

You see some odd sites out on Patrol... Sorry Voluntary Accident Prevention.

Driving up Ulwell Road we see a chap walking with a parrot in a cage. Yup big red and yellow thing, or pirate parrot as I call them happily walking up the road.

Still it not quite as odd as seeing a nun playing beach volleyball up near the chain ferry. Yup playing volleyball like you do.

No I'm not making this up. I didn't take any photos in case we upset them. Brian was as bemused as I was.

'oi mister, show us your parrot'

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Monday, 19 July 2010

Round Up

After a busy week, things slowed right down for the team despite the Jazz festival and road race being on in the town.

Our very own Rid ran the race and I'm waiting to hear if he's finished it yet?

Gareth returned from his holiday, and looks like he needs a wash, rumour has it he really went to Brighton and used a tanning studio.

John is working on his helicopter flying skills now he has a new model helicopter which was used after training the other day (sorry forgot to get pictures).

Nick our newest member enjoyed his 1st call out last week with Eric.

Dee is still smiling after a little blue light driver training.

Brian is still complaining that his photo on the main web site needs changing, I'm sure an opportunity will come up in the carnival this year?

Tom has been enjoying his holiday by the pool somewhere we got the odd text message from time to time.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

How not to lose a team member?

With the cut backs biting now and the team walking more, we have now implemented a new system to ensure team members find their way back to the station....yes we tie them on.

Note also with the puddle outside the station that all team members are wearing life jackets when near the station just in case.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Water Rescue

Last nights training was on water rescue, and a new piece of equipment.

Our temporary Sector Manager Rob, ran through this new jacket and how and when we should be using it. Over the coming months we will build on this so we can become "Water Technicians"

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Last nights incident and the dinghy (deflated!!). If you lost any type of craft from the beach, please inform the Coastguard as soon as possible, it can save a lot of time and money

Yesterdays incident at Old Harry saw Rescue 106 land to pick up the young lady.

A little weather warning today......strong winds which are a little unusual for this time of year. Please check before heading out.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hudson-Thompson Tan Test ©

Regular readers will know of the Hudson-Thompson Tan Test ©

Brian came to the station the other day to show that his Cape Cod Grey legs were now Cedar Tone and progressing well towards Harvest Brown.

I've just come back off hols and reckon I'm Oxford Brown although a shower tonight will confirm whether it is a tan or just dirt. As my mum reads this blog I wish to confirm that I was using factor 30 suncream.

Oh the Coastguardy bit, make sure you take care in the sun and cover up betweeen 11:00 and 15:00 when the sun is at its hottest. ...What sun I hear you say!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Its tough at the top and lonely until you mention "would anyone like a cup of tea?" then of course everyone is your best friend.
Whilst Austen and Terry surveyed the area for any possible accidents, I decided to put my feet up, little did we know that the action was about to unfold behind us.

Monday, 12 July 2010

It ain't half hot mum!

Yesterday the accident prevention team were just enjoying a cup of tea at the National Trust Caravan at Shell Bay, when a member of the public shouted for help after finding a BBQ on fire in the grass.Armed with a spade we started throwing sand on the flames, whilst getting the public out the way and getting Dorset Fire and Rescue on route.
A couple members of the public (ex fireman) assisted trying to stop the flames spreading to the heath.

At this stage and with safety the top priority I suggested a tactical withdrawal, however we thought water would be helpful so running to the Shell Bay Restaurant , we managed to get a bucket which assisted with water and then more sand throwing, but then all the staff from the restaurant formed a chain and the day was won! Dorset Fire and Rescue turned up and were grateful and continued to soak the area.

Thankfully just a very small area damaged.
Please if you are having a BBQ, dispose of it properly
If you discover a fire - 999 and get the Fire service out
Stay clear and warn others

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The dirty words

There are now words in the Coastguard language that can not be used anymore and its very difficult to get out of the habit of using them to describe what we are doing.

Thankfully our standing in Sector Manager has listened to our proposals for July and August and agreed that we can resume some of our activities.

PATROLS are out........Accident Prevention (voluntary) can be done as long as they are meeting the ministerial targets set by the Government, these include things like Tombstoning, beach incidents etc, but remember its not a patrol its Accident Prevention which for reporting isn't easy to use so I think we are going to use APT, or the Accident Prevention Team.
However it doesn't stop there as there is training and the care of the equipment which needs doing and this can be done by the APT.

No public relations or paid Accident Prevention can be done, again this has to voluntary and targetted against the ministerial targets......(hope you are following this?)

So for the team, no real changes at the weekends, no real change for the on call IRT's or BURT's for the Station Officer, more paperwork and the need to be very creative with the APT forms!

We are all doing our bit to cut costs, this includes turning off electrical items and cutting mileage down, even using the Coastguard car we have at the moment rather than the truck. Walk is another new word that some team members will be learning over the next few weeks!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Our man in Spain

One of the team is on his hols, following Spain's win the other night, we got this report.

I'm in Spain and its fair to say the Spanish have gone mad following their win against Germany.

The highlights of the night so far....some bloke on a motorbike pulling a 300m wheelie down the town's pier . In the town they appear to be throwing fireworks at each other.
Oops someone has just driven into the deckchair hire booth and someone has set fire to their washing on the balcony. Someone is driving down the road firing rockets out the sun roof.
Motorbike is back doing wheelies again but this time he hit the kerb - I think that's hurt, no its OK hes back on the bike doing it again this time in front of the local Police who seem to be clapping him.

I do hope they don't win the World Cup or I can see things things getting out of hand...

Ole Ole Ole


Friday, 9 July 2010

We Are Back

I'm pleased to say after a couple of weeks that we will be returning to getting out and about.

The Agency have set out a policy to allow certain activities to recommence which means we should be able to resume some of our accident prevention work in the town.

Meanwhile the MET office has issued a weather warning regarding the heat, if you are going to the beach, please ensure you bring your drinks and sun lotion.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Terry's Shop

Regular Blog readers will know that last year coastguard team member Terry retired from the ambulance service and opened a shop over in Tenerife. He decided to get into ladies swimwear... So to speak.

The shop is very well run and is doing a roaring trade. As Terry is in the UK he has appointed a shop manager.

His name is 'Manuel' and he is from Barcelona....he is also the distant cousin of Malcolm the Gingerbread man who appeared on the blog last month. (and was cruelly sacked by the boss)

I visited the shop and spoke briefly to Manuel who told me that bikini sales had gone through the roof. Looks like Terry made a wise investment.

Manuel at Terry's Shop:

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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Rowing Club

The Swanage Rowing Club are applying for their new club house......we know all about planning applications and how difficult it can be.

For the last 8 years the club have operated from a temporary premises but time is fast running out as the owner of the land wants to redevelop the area (theres another story!)

The club have been have been working hard with the town council on a small area in Prince Alberts Gardens has been identified (the old crazy golf course for those who can remember!)

The problem for the club as was for us is the development is outside the settlement area and makes planning applications difficult.

Whilst rowing may not be every ones cup of tea, its another good local club that I believe should be supported, they have many sections young to seniors and teaches valuable sea skills to all those involved. The gigs they row are part of this countries history, in the famous rescue in 1875 of the crew of the wild wave on peveril ledge, local Coastguard's rowed out in gigs to save the crew, for that reason Swanage has a lifeboat. In modern times the the Coastguard use the local expertise of the crew where they can, a rescue some years ago had the gig crew get to the shore and help a male who had fallen down Ballard until the Coastguard team arrived, that's Swanage working at its best.

Please take a minute to log on to their planning application and leave some comments

The application Number is 6/2010/0374

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Beyond the call of duty

Its not ours but we are so proud and don't like a dirty station we even washed the car!
Of course to save fuel we pushed the car out it was just getting it back in that was the problem!

Monday, 5 July 2010

No room at the Inn

Its amazing, you get space and then you fill it up. Whilst we don't have a East Dorset Sector Manager we have the delight of looking after the car for a few weeks, shame we can not go out in the vehicles at the moment!

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Regular readers will know we continue to raise the subject of tombstoning and this is why.....

This week it was reported in a local newspaper and website of an incident at the World Famous Durdle Door where a youth was reported climbing up the cliff to jump. A rescue helicopter was tasked along with the Lulworth Coastguard team. On the website there is a chance to leave your comments and personally I found one of the comments very unhelpful.
Basically someone had commented along the lines of what a waste of money sending a helicopter for people enjoying themselves.......

Today at Sandbanks I heard that someone "tombstoning" has been paralysed from the neck down, that's why the Coastguard take this problem seriously.

Please think about it, we are not spoil sports all around the country Coastguards, Lifeboats and many more professional are having to attend accidents which are so avoidable.

Friday, 2 July 2010


Found this on the BBC news yesterday about our area manager.

We would of course like to wish our boss the very best for his wedding.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Covert Coastguard

To ensure we continue to provide the level of service to the town, we are now doing "under cover Coastguarding".

Various team members take up position in key areas of the town, and observe the great British public and leap into action if required.

One slight issue yesterday that Eric and I managed to choose the same place, but give Eric the credit not only was free coffee on offer but he was pretending to work too....excellent Eric you beat me that day!

So keep your eyes open for other members of the team in key positions see if you can spot them!