Monday, 31 January 2011

Brian's Booty.

There may be a riot up at the station as the new uniform has arrived. There is a big notice on the cardboard box saying ‘hands off’ while it gets sorted.

Regular readers will probably know about our uniform and the fact that we are only allowed a certain amount each year. We get given points which we can ‘spend’ on items – this year it was 50 points, yup 50 big ones. We ordered back in August and the kit has just arrived.

Some items like the Coastguard polo shirts are 10 points, socks 5 points and hats 25 points. A jacket however is a zillion points and in order to get one the team have to be persuaded to throw their leftover points into the bucket so that someone can have a jacket. Buttons are extra.

Well this year it’s Brian turn. He’s been banging on about a jacket for years as he doesn’t think jumpers suit him; he’s also gone for a posh hat I believe and a new belt.

So Brian will look like the bees knees this year while the rest of us slum it in coastguard socks and pants.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sgurr Choinnich Mor

This is one very lucky man! (Or depending on your point of view ...unlucky that he fell in the first place.)

1/2/11 And how you survive a fall!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Cleaning the kit

Kit night this week also involved having a good clean at the station, even the training kit got a good wash down.

Good things can happen.

Just before 12.00 I received a text to say the IRT had been tasked to Old Harry along with Rescue 104 to a report of a body at the base of the cliff.

Fearing the worse, I acknowledged the text and waited for the confirmation that a tragic accident had happened and it was not going to the best job to start the year.

So imagine the surprise when the next text arrived confirming the person had survived the 90 plus feet drop and was ok.

Now thats a result we like.

Off and Running

Off and Running

After a quiet start to the year the IRT have just returned from the first job of 2011 up at Old Harry.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Slipping away

A walk along the beach this morning found this fresh fall (there were small fresh bits that were rolling off the pile).
This slip is close to under the Pines Hotel were there was a big slip last year, so this latest one shows this area is still active.
As there is a risk of more rain and then freezing conditions, there will be a risk that further slips will occur. (The water freezes and expands pushing the slip further)

As ever we ask the public to stay off the slips and away from the base of the cliffs.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Saved by a mobile phone

From an article in the "i" paper yesterday

"Climbers saved by light from mobile"

The glow of a mobile phone helped mountain rescuers find a father and son lost at night on Snowdonia. The pair 55 and 19, from Anglesey, left their torches in the car when they set out to climb Idwal Slabs. Rescuers with night-vision glasses were guided to the pair by the light of the phone.

I think that acts as a reminder to all those setting out, walking or boating to double check they have all their equipment.

Idwal Slabs on a Sunny day; not a nice place to be in the dark in January!

Now that's Magic!

At training last week Nick commented that he'd heard on the radio that Paul Daniels would be selling his wigs on E-bay. Cue general discussion on Paul Daniels, Debbie McGee, naff magicians, etc.

However, some of the guys went quiet, and looking around the station I could see why; glare of the lights, reflections, need I say more? I think somebody may have even put a bid in; I wonder who'll turn up in it at kit night?

Then we all went quiet when we realised Rid wasn't old enough to remember who Paul Daniels even is.

So what's this got to do with the Coastguard? Well, not a lot, but you'll like it.

Incredibly he's 72 now. Paul Daniels, not Rid.

Monday, 24 January 2011

New Kit?

Some time ago someone asked what we carry in the trailer.

On visiting the station, I found what I thought was a new piece of equipment. Not sure where we can use these ladders on the cliffs as most are higher than this set.

However before our colleagues at HQ lose their Monday morning coffee over the possible chance of a Coastguard Officer using a set of ladders, fear appears the contractors are arriving today to repair the damage to the gutters.
(Coastguards are not allowed to use ladders due to health and safety issues and the working at height regulations)

Later this week having reviewed hours of CCTV we shall be naming and shaming the offender who damaged the gutter.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sunday Patrols

Moving into 2011 we are looking at everything we do and how we can save money. the menu,

Accident prevention the menu,

So what are we going to call it when we head out to run the vehicle and check various routes that are essential when dealing with incidents? This is the big question of the week for the team.

Meanwhile Eric has taken this cost cutting on board and taken to his bike to carry out the task formally known as "patrolling"
However Eric we must talk about PPE.

Look Outside

Falmouth Coastguard had an incident almost on their own doorstep last night, according to the BBC News.

This will be one of the MRCCs reverting to a 'daylight-only' operation if the plans in the consultation document go through, in which case this rescue would have been co-ordinated from either Hampshire or Scotland.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Decoy Tin

Up at the station someone left us a tin of Quality Street chocolates to share; very kind thank you.

Other brands of chocolates in tins are available.

I say share........

Now within a minute of these being found Operation Decoy had commenced. Basically transfer all the decent choccies out of the tin such as The Purple One and the Toffees, and leave all the ‘less well liked’ Strawberry Crèmes, Coffee Yuks, and Coconut Bluhs in the tin- now known as the ‘decoy’ tin. Phase 1 complete.

The Decoy Tin

Phase 2.
Everyone turns up to training and on seeing the decoy tin of choccies tucks in. There’s some minor disquiet about the good ones having been eaten but they crack on and have a couple five or six until they are stuffed.

Brian has a few more .
(He informs us that he's wearing a thick jumper and is not on a diet until his family finish off all the Christmas goodies – apparently there is still Yule log in the cupboard at the Craker’s place).

Brian 'Testing' the chocolate.

Phase 3.
Once satisfied that they have troughed all they can eat..... the decent choccies are revealed to the team.

Phase 4.
Lots of good natured verbal abuse aimed in our direction while we eat the top chocolates; Job done.

In other news, Brian has confirmed that Big Brian might make an appearance at Swanage Carnival; we do hope so. (Readers that is not a euphemism, we mean his younger big brother).

In other other news, Austen is sick. (That's ill, not depraved).

In other other other news, the rest of the chocolates have been hidden from Austen.They are definitely not in the cupboard under the sink, behind the cleaning stuff. (Phew! I think i've thrown him off the scent- there's no way he'll look there).

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Nothing for sale

We had a email yesterday asking if we could send some Coastguard uniform and other bits to someone.

The simple answer to this is "No"

We are a Government Agency and not only would it be a criminal offence (as well as dismissal offence) to pass on uniform or equipment it also poses a huge security issue as someone could pose as an officer and get in somewhere they are not entitled to be in.

From time to time items do turn up on Internet auction sites and in the past HQ have traced these items back or liaised with the auction house to remove the items.

Uniform is the property of the Coastguard and if you leave the Service it is meant to be returned. Our equipment is for life saving purposes and when it comes to the end of its life it HAS to be destroyed, never passed on.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Mensa Candidates

To prove we do actually train and not just blog about it, here's the evidence from last night.

But with the brains of the team missing, the new rescue strop almost got the better of us:

But then the boss found the instructions, and we were back in control:
Still, better to practice and get any issues out of the way on a training night so that when the equipment is used for real we get it right. First time. And every time.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Tonight's training included our new rescue harnesses, the new rescue strop and finally first aid.

After some practise, it was down to some assessment work on each piece of equipment. This will go back to the Sector Manager to decide we can swap from the old harnesses to the new ones.

At the end of last week our equipment was checked by Rob our Sector Manager and it all went well and no equipment failed or no telling off for dirty equipment.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Olden Days

In the olden days the Coastguard Service used Horse and Cart.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Right place right time

Whilst out on our local knowledge check, we were made aware of lots of 999 calls going into our rescue centre in Weymouth (Portland Coastguard).

The 999 calls related to some flares being fired around the Hamworthy area by the Royal Marines out training, however the public didn't know this and were doing their bit and dialling 999.

Due to the number of 999 calls being taken the "overflow" got directed to Solent Coastguard, and it just so happened that we were travelling up the ferry road and confirmed the sightings.
Now that's what team work and local knowledge is all about and makes the Coastguard service so unique .

Local Knowledge

We had a visitor at the Station today from Portland MRCC.....

There mission was to have a look around the patch and build on their local knowledge, it also allowed the truck to have a good run as it suffering from the damp conditions and not having a run.

We started down at Wytch Farm and drove along the shore of Poole Harbour, around Studland to Middle Beach (well every Coastguard has to stop and refuel). Then out to Old Harry over Ballard and back to the Station.

Today's trip out shows how important local knowledge is not only for our Operations Room Staff but also the team, whilst on Ballard we discovered a log blocking a gate. This route is really important to us for incident working so we will have to contact the landowner and ask why this route has been blocked off. Thankfully we found it today not when out on an emergency.

Thursday, 13 January 2011



We've had a new style 'Petzl' helmet arrive on station to replace one that was declared U/S at a recent Kit Night. 
Now I know we're all trying to save money, but will supplying it without the 'D' in Coastguard really make enough of a difference?


Tonight we are opening the doors of the station to the Young Farmers Club and giving them a talk on the Coastguard.

The farming community is important to us as some of our incidents involve having to cross their land and also its always handy to have a farmer with a tractor just in case I get the truck stuck.

We are always happy to give talks to groups, it promotes the Service and builds relations with people we may call on to support us.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

If in doubt "Shout"

On Sunday two "cavers" were reported overdue after going exploring in the caves of the Purbecks.

Portland MRCC tasked both Swanage Lifeboats, the helicopter and St Albans Coastguard to search the area but as they began another call came in from the families of the two saying they had phoned and were safe. All units were cancelled.

The Watch manager at Portland said "they are safe and the parents got it right in reporting this as soon as there was concern, if in doubt you shout"

Our area has many caves, some natural others left over from quarrying. Over the last few year we have been mapping many of the old quarry workings in the Swanage area to assist in future searches, this project is known as "project pitfall". We use this project to assess the risk during incidents graded on the condition of these caves and quarry shafts. These areas can be very dangerous and our advice is to take extreme care, check with the land owner before entering any cave or shaft.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Mobile Phones on Holiday

While on the subject of mobile phones, remember to look after your phone especially if you’re a team member going on holiday soon. Last thing you want to do is jump in the pool only to find....

"Hey Terry, great tan...... but what's that in your pocket?"

I bet iPhone don't do an 'App' for that! Alternatively buy an iBag .

Mobile Phones

Did you get a mobile phone for Christmas or perhaps you brought one for a family member?

Have you registered it with the provider?

May be you think its not worth it ? May be you think its "big brother" and refuse to provide your details?

Well perhaps you will consider this to change your mind.............

Every day thousands of 999 calls are made to the emergency services, most are genuine, some are hoax's, some are by accident when the phone is in a pocket, however a small amount are known as "dropped 999 calls" .

Dropped 999 calls are when the caller has connected to the operator, sometimes requesting a service but for what ever reason get cut off. Where no service has been requested the operator will pass the phone number to the Police who will then start to make enquiries.

1st of all several attempts will be made to call the number back, a text message may be sent but if there is no answer then a check will be made to the service provider to see if they have details of the owner of the phone. There are strict rules for the emergency services to apply for this information. So having applied for the details imagine the frustration when the answer is that its an unregistered phone, the trace goes cold.

So look at it another way, you are out walking in Durlston Country Park , slip and break your leg. You shout for help and no one comes, you reach for phone and due to the location the signal keeps being lost. You manage to dial 999 but as you get through the signal goes, the operator passes the details to the Police who despite trying can not reconnect. A trace is put on the phone and details come back thankfully to a local address. Police are sent to make enquires and your family confirm you had gone for a walk in the Durlston area, details are past to the Coastguard and a joint search is mounted and you are found quickly.

If your phone was unregistered then the trace goes cold and the emergency services have to wait until someone is reported missing, this could be several hours or days!

Mobile phones can be life savers.....make sure you register yours

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Web Sites

As well as this blog, the team have their own web site

The original website was set up to promote the work the team does in the community, which quite often does not get mentioned on the MCA's main web site.

Since being set up about 4 year ago the site has had about 130.000 hits , which for a small team is not bad.

We are currently reviewing the site and updating it, thanks to the efforts of our secret webmaster our yearly casualty figures have been added. Some of the videos are no longer available so we have taken them off the site and finally at last we are getting round to finishing the history page.

Both sites are here to provide our community with information, promote the Coastguard Service and the town of Swanage.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Executive Summary

Sorry we seem to be banging on about the HM Coastguard Modernisation Proposals but it's the only opportunity to comment on how the service will be shaped for the next 20 years.

For all those busy people I've copied below the executive summary to the proposals. In the interests of fairness I shall not provide my personal view or the consensus view of the team.

Please spend a moment to read the summary and if you have comments please fill in the online the Questionnaire  to make your comments known. It's your Coastguard service really... so have your say.

Executive Summary

For two centuries, the Coastguard has been helping to manage the use of our seas and protect those who use them. The sea is vital to our economy, while millions use it for recreational purposes. However, we are changing the way we use our waters and our shores. This is making our coastline far busier than ever before. We are building much larger ships that are less manoeuvrable and drilling rigs and increasing numbers of wind farms pepper the seas around the UK. As a result our seas are becoming much more congested. Weather conditions are also becoming more extreme, with significant weather events becoming more frequent and severe, making work at sea more perilous and increasing the risk of coastal flooding. However, updated technologies and systems, including automated systems to track ships wherever they might be, offer real opportunities to manage better what is going on around our coasts and to deal with incidents when they arise. At the same time, current economic conditions mean there is an imperative to deliver efficiencies and reduce costs.

The current arrangement of the Coastguard dates back forty years and is not well placed to respond to these challenges. Eighteen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres are spread across the UK, together with a small centre in London. Each centre's systems are 'paired' with a neighbour allowing them to work together when necessary, but beyond these pairings the stations are not interoperable. This means that the system suffers from a fundamental lack of resilience. In the event of a problem affecting both centres in a pair, it is not possible for an incident to be managed from another centre. It is also impossible to spread workloads across the system; so staff in one centre may be struggling to cope with call volumes while workloads in another may be low. In addition both emergency and non-emergency demand varies widely by geographical location, the time of day, and the time of year. Analysis shows that the busiest centres handle over five times as many incidents as the quietest with 30% of all incidents happening in July and August and 70% of all incidents occurring between 9am and 7pm. These uneven workloads lessen resilience, hamper staff development and lead to higher than necessary staff costs.

The latest technology means the Coastguard can be completely reconfigured to deliver a more integrated and improved level of service, at lower cost, with better-rewarded staff taking on increased responsibilities and with enhanced career opportunities.

This consultation document sets out proposals which would enable fewer Coastguard centres to monitor and communicate with ships anywhere around the UK coastline, as well as delivering complete integration between stations. This will allow greater flexibility and improved resilience when responding to calls, particularly at peak times. In turn, these proposals would mean enhanced roles and responsibilities for a smaller number of officers, matched by improvements in remuneration. Coastguard Modernisation Consultation 8

These proposals include:

  • Establishing two nationally networked Maritime Operations Centres, capable of managing maritime incidents wherever they occur and with improved systems to monitor ships and manage incidents. One would be located in Aberdeen, the other in the Portsmouth/Southampton area.
  • Establish six sub-centres, fully integrated into the national network around the coast operating during daylight hours only with exception of Dover that would continue to operate around the clock. On the basis of an evaluation of the existing sites and the facilities available at them, it is proposed four of these should be located at Dover, Falmouth, Humber and Swansea. We also require sub-centres at either Belfast or Liverpool and either Stornoway or Shetland. The case for selection between these locations is more marginal. We are therefore inviting comments and information about factors that should influence the choice of sites for these two sub-centres. The 24/7 small centre at London would remain unchanged.
  • Providing high quality and demanding jobs for our Coastguards, with the job weight and pay reflecting the increased demands placed upon them in line with Civil Service pay guidelines.
  • Strengthening the leadership and support provided to our volunteer Coastguards in the Coastguard Rescue Service who serve their local communities by providing an effective, knowledgeable and responsive local rescue service.

These proposals would reduce staff numbers. Coastguards stationed in the centres would fall from 491 today to 248, while the number of regular Coastguards supporting the volunteers in the Coastguard Rescue Service would increase from 80 to 105 to improve its operational leadership. Headquarters staff would fall from 25 to 17. Overall staffing numbers would fall from 596 today to 370 over a four-year period with higher quality and better paid jobs for those remaining. All existing staff would be given opportunities to apply for posts within the new structure. Staff leaving the service would be eligible for compensation for early exits in line with the terms of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

The consultation proposes that the transition to the new service would begin in 2011/12 and take place over a four-year period. This would allow time for the new Maritime Operations Centres to be set up and a phased programme changing existing Maritime Rescue Centres into sub-centres.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation it is likely that this could lead to redundancies. Should this be the case, we would follow the Cabinet Office protocols for handling surplus staff situations and engage with the Trade Coastguard Modernisation Consultation Union Side as early as possible to ensure that best efforts are made to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Overall, we believe that implementing these proposals will result in a Coastguard service fit to meet the challenges of the 21st century and capable of delivering an improved service to mariners and the general public.

However, before any changes are made, we are conducting a 14-week consultation. This document sets out the background to the proposed changes, the main effects, and provides some questions to assist you when submitting your response. In developing these proposals, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency would welcome comments and information about factors that should influence the choice of sites for both Maritime Operations Centres and for sub-centres. Responses will be accepted, either on the electronic form provided, or in writing, up until 5pm on March 24, 2011.


999 calls to the Coastguard are important

Without the public's input , many lives could be at risk so if you see something or think someone is in trouble dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Never think that someone else will call it in....often only one call is taken reporting something to our MRCC's

Thinking someone is in trouble is very different to a Hoax call, we would much rather be called out to check or be cancelled on route than not be called and someone losing their live.

Sometimes we turn up and there is a simple answer to what the member of the public has seen. A good example of this is a report of flares off Old Harry which we often get. When we arrive or checks are made, its found to be an aircraft going into Bournemouth Airport but this should NEVER put people off calling, this is what we call a FAWGI or False Alarm With Good Intent.

Friday, 7 January 2011


Some little oik has jumped off the radio mast and swung on the gutter which as you can see has knackered it. Still the gutter is razor sharp so I doubt he'll do it again. Ouch.

We'll have a look at the CCTV footage and see who was playing silly beggars.


Austen and Nick have received thankyou letters from the family involved in the incident they attended last week. This a very nice touch and although nobody does it for the thanks or recognition, it's still nice to be appreciated. Our main concern as ever is that everyone ends up safe and well.

We never seek to judge the people we rescue nor pass comment although where appropriate we offer safety advice to try and prevent repeats, particularly with incidents at sea. Over the years we have operated regular Accident Prevention Patrols at weekends and we'd like to think this helps keep our casualty rates down. That said, with increased stay-at-home holidays last year our call out figures were higher than ever.

The way the Coastguard Service operates is currently under review; if you want to know what's planned or want to have your say please click the Consultation link on the right.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


It was the great 2010 clear out this week. Bring all the records up to date, empty the filing tray and put it into storage for 5 years.

Its amazing how much paper work can be generated in a year.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Training tonight....................

We start the year as we mean to carry on, tonight its the 1st session for 1st aid to be followed up with another 2 sessions which will include the assessment with the Sector Manager.

Other training this year will be, more rope work, water rescue, driving, and a big project on local knowledge. We will tell you more about this project as it happens.

Lads....time to put the colouring books away!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Portland Coastguard (MRCC) and the Kayakers

The Dorset Echo report on the kayakers; again this incident reinforces how important local MRCCs are to your Coastguard service:-

Coastguard watch manager Ros Evans told the Dorset Echo: “Knowledge of the local area is very important but it’s also having that awareness of the area.We all live locally and from the minute we leave our homes we know what the wind is doing and what the tides and Race are doing.”
She added: “With our local knowledge we know which is the most appropriate lifeboat to use and how to task the resources.
“We know which coastguards live nearest the hospital to go and organise the helicopter landing site.
All this can be taught but it takes years before it becomes an instinct.”

She said: “They were extremely lucky. We are really glad they are all right.

If you have views about the reorganisation of MRCC's in the UK please take a look at the Consultation document on the right hand side of this blog.


Its that time of year again when the figures are added up and we reflect on 2010.

I would like to start with a huge thank you to the team, 2010 was an outstanding year with incidents up to figures we have never seen before. The support from the families and the community of Swanage was brilliant. Special thanks go to St Albans Coastguard for backing us on a number of occasions, Swanage Police and Swanage Ambulance crews,NCI Swanage and all the crew at Swanage Lifeboat.

Incidents 2010 - 165 compared to 112 in 2009

5 EOD incidents

11 Incidents involving animals (mostly dogs fallen from cliffs)

69 Marine incidents

9 Miscellaneous incidents

3 Pollution incidents

6 Cliff incidents

23 Medical incidents

4 Investigations

9 Searches for missing people

26 Minor incidents - incidents where the team dealt with someone but not logged by the MRCC

The full team were called out 14 times

The MRU drove 2549 miles

Austen was called out the most (or created more incidents) 68

Sunday at 2pm remains our busiest time for call outs

We haven't been called out between 03.30 and 04.30 in five years

Wednesday's remain the quietest day in the week.

2469 hours of Coastguard work was put in during 2010 by the volunteer team.

Eric is the eldest in the team, Rid the youngest.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Busy start to 2011

After the two rescues mentioned in our last entry, the ops team at Portland MRCC have been busy again today according to this BBC news story

Another busy day at Portland MRCC

Portland MRCC staff had another busy afternoon yesterday.

1st down at Lulworth with a dog and owner over the cliff.

Then off Portland Bill in the tide race 16 kayakers got in trouble. 2 rescue helicopters, 2 lifeboats, Customs cutter, Portland Bill Coastguard, NCI Portland, Wyke Coastguard, a Sector Manager, South Western Ambulance all got involved.


The other evening I popped up the station to check the building and found the truck in a muddy state! In fairness the IRT had been out until 23.00 the night before and its not the best time to clean the vehicle and upset the neighbours.

Thankfully within an hour the vehicle was back to proper standard, clean, tidy and ready to go.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


The fog last the distance is Ocean Bay.

This picture reminded me of the incident last year when the patrol was out on Ballard Down and came involved in quite a few lost runners. The fog had set in and made the route rather tricky with runners confused where the next check point was.

As we start a new year are you thinking of organising an event in a coastal area? If so perhaps as part of your risk assessment you contact your local Coastguard MRCC for some advice? Its free and may just save a call out during your event.

Our local MRCC is Portland Coastguard and they can be contacted on 01305 760439. (this number is for non emergency calls) For readers around the rest of the country please contact you local MRCC, the number will be in the phone book or at

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Someone left some questions on one of our blogs earlier. (They are doing a project on the emergency services, good they have picked the Coastguard in my book!)

When did you become Station Officer?

On checking the records (I was quite surprised) 20th July 2002, Austen become Deputy Station Officer 1st May 2007

Have you received any certificates or awards for any rescues?

Tricky to answer this one as I'm not sure how far back you want us to go so will cover the period of our longest servicing member (John Bentham).

John was part of the team when they recovered the body of a climber in 1988 which they received a Chief Coastguards Commendation.

Ian received a letter from the District Control (1997) for the rescue of a swimmer at Studland

John received a letter from the Chief Coastguard for his work at Portland MRCC during the Napoli incident.

Ian received a letter from the Chief Coastguard for the work done to get the new Station.

Ian presented with a Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2010 for work in the community.

John Bentham will be presented his Clasp to his 20 year long service medal for completion of 30 years service to the Coastguard Rescue Service. (waiting for him to get well)

Ian will be presented his long service medal for 20 years service (waiting for it to be minted!)

I think that's about it, thankfully the question wasn't how many telling offs have you had.....!

Do all MRU's (our vehicles) have the name of the station on the front doors?

This is an unofficial thing that some Coastguard teams do once the vehicle arrives on station. Its not something the Coastguard Service provide but done under a local agreement and cost.
As mentioned in the flag pole blog, the Coastguard has nearly 200 years of traditions and teams are fiercely proud of their patch and equipment. If you look at very old photos of the LSA teams they use to have their station names on their carts and slowly in modern times this tradition has come back. There is a slight problem with this as sometime vehicles are needed to be swapped about for various reasons!

Finishing touches

This morning some of the team met at the station for a New Year coffee.

We took sometime out to put together our flag pole for the first time. The flag pole was given to us by the family of the late Ian Surface who passed away in 2009.

When the Chief Coastguard opened the station in Feburary 2008, he touched on the fine traditions of the Coastguard Service, something here at Swanage we are very keen to continue.
All Coastguard stations use to have flag poles and when we had the new building it was something we felt was missed but very important to mark events

So at last in memory of a long serving Auxiliary In Charge (now known as a station officer) the station has a flag pole that can be put up (its not a fixed structure) to mark official events.

New Year

New Year's Day and the team met to compare who had the best Christmas presents. Tom was struggling with his new heavy duty fishing rod whilst Gareth is so pleased with his tea mug he hasn't put it down since Boxing Day.

Full details of what was really happening will follow, courtesy of the boss. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all our readers.