Friday, 30 September 2011

Lost Kitten - Bubbles

One of the families who live close to the Coastguard Station, near North Beach Car Park is missing their kitten.

The grey kitten called 'Bubbles' is three months old and went missing last night at about 10pm from 55 DeMoulham Road (close to the corner with Seaward Road).

Missing - Grey Kitten 'Bubbles'

I've spoken to Harriet (Age 11) and Alistair (Age 9) who have been out searching this evening, and they have told me that they miss her lots and would like to find her. We've had a quick look with torches and a thermal imaging camera but sadly nothing found.

So if you live on DeMoulham Road, Seaward Road, Bonfields Avenue or Ulwell Road they would be very grateful if you might check your garage or shed just in case she is locked in. That would be fantastic, thanks.

If you do find 'Bubbles' please give them a call on 07931 38090 or 01929 423060 to reunite the owners with their kitten and claim a reward.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tom's Back

Readers might know that Tom has been a little ill recently, well Im pleased to confirm he is feeling much better and will be back in action after the weekend!

So the week ahead - arrange the Children's Christmas Party and of course the "other Childrens" Christmas party when it can be decided where we could go an far my suggestion of a drive through at a well known fast food place has had no votes.

Tomorrow (Friday) we have been invited to the Carnival presentations where they hand out money to local groups.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Ok the truth

OK so the truth about kit night........

The reason the truck was really emptied out was to carry out some repairs on the metal framework in the back.....8 years of off roading, heavy metal stakes and equipment has taken its toll on this racking, so its was taken out for repair work to taken place.

Other uses of the truck.....

So whilst the truck was empty - we tested out the carrying capacity of the truck, what can you really fit in?

Well as discovered, two grumpy looking adults

(please note this was a test only, its illegal to transport passengers in this way as there are no seats or seat belts before anyone comments!)

Then there was the standard biscuit test the team have developed, and sure enough there is plenty of room.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Kit Night

Tonight was the monthly kit night at the station but before we started we had to fire some para illuminates as they are about to go out of date.

So as a training session we prepared the vehicle as per the new instructions for carrying have to remove everything before you can put the special tin in.
The form filling in caused a problem as it involved counting up the explosive element of each flare and when there is only 5 of you you run out of fingers to count up on.

So kitted up with full PPE we popped down to Peveril Point and fired each flare carefully. Sadly with the fog each one disappeared and then there was a strange orange glow in the fog which must have been thick as not one 999 call was made to Portland Coastguard !

Then it was back to check the equipment and clean the truck out.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Coastguard Tugs

At the end of the week, the Coastguard tugs stationed around the country will be stood down after it was decided that the commerical shipping industry should provide these types of vessels in the future.

Bournemouth Echo

The Bournemouth Daily Echo reports on two incidents involving the Swanage Coastguard Team.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Poole Coastguard Team

The local team who I don't think get enough thanks is the Poole Coastguard Team.

Now these chaps not only deal with their own patch, but they cover the helicopter landing site at Whitecliffe close to Poole Hospital. Basically every time the helicopter is inbound they have to quickly make their way down to the landing site to clear the area for landing; they then assist with the casualty. I suppose its a bit of a 'run of the mill' job to keep repeating each time but at the end of the day a still an important one.

24/09/11 R104 about to lift across the water to be met by the Poole Coastguard Team.

Poole Team are our flank team to the north, that we often hear on the radio but rarely see. Whilst one of our specialisms is Cliff Rescue, they are the team that specialises in Mud Rescue - needed in Poole harbour.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Coastguard Message - Keep Dogs on Leads

Another busy day for the team.

1st call to Furzebrook near Wareham! A little outside our normal patch but Portland Coastguard requested the IRT assist South Western Ambulance and Rescue 104 with a lady with a broken hip having slipped down a path.

Then this afternoon, the team were called to Old Harry Rocks to yet another dog fallen from the cliffs. The Owner had reported the loss of their pet to the National Trust who had contacted the Coastguard. The owner reported the dog had not survived the fall and didn't think the emergency services would attend.

Well of course we will attend......

1) The dog may still be alive
2) As we found today, it draws other members of the public to the edges of cliffs and puts them at risk
3) It's someone's pet and it is only right (after a detailed risk assessment) to try and recover the animal.

So it was very sad with the help of a passing Kayak that the dog was found not have survived the fall, due to the location it was safer for the ILB to recover the dog.

As we have often stated on this blog....please keep your dogs on leads when near the cliffs.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Busy Day

The station was a hive of activity this morning; An electrician was in doing some PAT testing on the equipment, Ian took Alan our new sector manager to have a look at our aerial (it was still there apparently but we still can't get ITV4) and then at lunch time we had a couple of incidents involving a jet ski reported as being driven reckelssly at Burlington Chine and a sailing dinghy capsized in the bay. Oh, and the SO washed the truck.

Do you drive jet skis? Or pilot them? skipper them? or just sit on them and get bored?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Old Ordnance

Residents of Swanage found they could not get past the Police Station yesterday, with Kings Road West Closed off for a couple of hours.

The rumour mill was in top form as it normally is in the town but the real reason for this was that someone had found two small "Shells" - no not the sort you find on the beach but old wartime ordnance.

We do not know how this person came to have these items but they decided to take them to the Police Station and hand them in. The items were immediately taken to the yard and advice was sought from a EOD team (Bomb Disposal team). Due to the condition of these items the EOD team had to come and deal with them as soon as possible.

As a Coastguard team we are often involved in these types of incidents, our advice is this -

Never touch any ordnance
If you are not sure what the item is leave it where it is.
Never transport the item to a Coastguard Station or Police Station

Phone 999 and ask for the Police (if the item is above the high water mark) or Coastguard (if below the high water mark)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Odd Coastguard Rescues...

Following a chap who had a diving bend at a motorway services station leading to a helicopter rescue; today we have another even more random rescue that the Coastguard has performed.  A motorhome that went off the road in the amazon jungle- yup you read it right.

Well done Falmouth MRCC.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Training today started outside but with the rain starting it was quickly back to the station to continue indoors.

Tonight was the rope set up as we are keen to get Nick his "Operators" ticket and Rid his "technicians" ticket.

We were joined tonight by Allan our new Sector Manager and hopefully (when we have caught him on camera) we shall introduce him on a future blog.

We finished the training session with a session on our new thermal camera, more on this soon.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Dorset Police .....101 Goes Live.

The new Dorset Police non-emergency number goes live....

From today, the telephone number to dial to contact the police in Dorset for non-emergencies will be 101.

In an emergency it's still 999.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A busy few days

Its been a busy few days however not all Coastguard wise.

Yesterdays patrol headed down to Wytch Farm and was tasked to search for a possible fire.

Our Tom has unfortunately been taken ill so from the team we wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the team soon.

The week ahead will see the team training in Tuesday and then on Thursday we have a talk at the Baptist Church.

Hopefully we shall be providing a few more blogs this week.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Last few Waverley sailings

The Waverley is coming towards the end of its annual visit, which owing to the weather has seen more Swanage sailings cancelled than actually operate this year, which is a shame not only for the people who had paid good money for a day out but also to the preservation society that operates the ship and relies on excursion income to keep her in good order.

Still, it was nice to see her alongside Swanage Pier again on Tuesday and Wednesday this week when the weather was a little calmer.
There are a still a few more cruises left before the season ends, so grab a chance to sail on the last sea going paddle steamer in the world while you can. And I'm told that if the sailing is cancelled owing to weather, you can use your ticket on another cruise even if its a more expensive one.

Remaining Sailings from Swanage

Sun 18 Sep: Weymouth

Tue 20 Sep: choice of Bournemouth, Yarmouth or round IOW cruise

Wed 21 Sep: choice of Bournemouth, Ryde or Portsmouth

Thu 22 Sep: Lulworth

NB. Other sea going paddle steamers are not available

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A night out on the tiles.

When Ian said he was having a 'night on the tiles', I assumed that he meant he’d be down the pubs and clubs of Swanage getting ‘smashed off his face’ on cheap cider, before rocking up at the kebab shop for some chips and a good loud singsong walking home up the high street. (..isn’t that what young people do nowadays?)

So imagine my shock when I found him at the coastguard station last night tiling the wall behind the sink.

The tiles went on pretty straight which is always disappointing as neither I, nor Austen, could stand there saying ‘ooooh I wouldn’t have done it like that!’.

Instead we had to concede they were properly laid. So instead we gave him a load of good natured abuse about other stuff.

Next week he’s going to put up a dado rail in the training room, with hand cut mitre joints.

Blogger- iPhone

Spring Tides

We're currently on 'spring tides'; thats the time when the moon exerts its greatest gravitational pull on the tide (usually just after new moon and full moon) and it results in high tides that are higher than normal and consequently low tides that are lower than normal.

Low tide, Tuesday 13 September

In Swanage this means that at Spring lows its possible to walk around the end of the groynes at Ocean Bay and the two rocky ledges also at the north end (underneath the Grand Hotel) are often seen breaking the surface. The Banjo Jetty also finds itself without sea lapping round its base.

The best time of day to see these sights is about 5pm which is when our Spring lows tend to occur.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

PACT meeting

The next PACT (Partners and Communities Together) meeting for Swanage is this Thursday

15th September at 18.00 - Swanage Town Hall.

The meeting is open to the public and is all about issues that the town may have and then by working together how these issues will can be resolved.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Another old

Since a sharp eyed reader spotted we had used a photo from only a couple of weeks ago thought we would try one from 2004.

Tom (in this early picture not wearing his PPE on the beach) finds an Orange boat washed up on the beach. Also oddly there is a pile of shoes to his right which he hasn't seen.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Search Trousers.

Sometimes you're in such a rush to get to the Station you get dressed in the dark, as Brian demonstrates. To be fair it was 02:00am so he probably did.

In response Brian said that these yellow trousers are his 'search' trousers and that anyone humming the tune to 'Rupert the Bear' will be thrown out of the rescue truck.

Here's a better photo of Brian doing some searching.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Local Knowledge

This months patrols are about team members heading out to parts of the patch we don't normally get to in the summer.

Today's patrol headed off (checked out the folk festival) and then headed to the Western Mile Markers.
Sorry to the residents of Belle Vue Farm who wondered why a Coastguard Truck was driving through their garden.....someone forgot the right turn so I'm told, but that's what its all about and better to do this now rather than doing an incident.

Several routes later, one seized lock and a can of WD40 (other oils are available) the truck safely found its way to the lighthouse.

The next task is to do it in the dark !

Friday, 9 September 2011

Weather Warning

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for Monday.......

We suggest that readers continue to monitor the forecast to ensure the correct action is taken.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

4492 Dominion of New Zealand - Swanage + Folk Festival

A big weekend for Swanage. The town's going to be overrun by men with beards and sandals!

 ....hang on, let me explain.

It's the Swanage Railway's Grand Steam Gala and Vintage Transport Rally 2011 - lots of trains chuffing up and down the line. Great to see '4492 Dominion of New Zealand in Swanage'...or is it 'Bittern'. So lots of trainspotters/enthusiasts i.e. men with beards and sandals in town.

I've just seen her down at the engine shed and even the missus, who isn't into steam trains, said that it was an impressive engine. (hmmm she knows the difference between and engine and a train - closet trainspotter I reckon). There's even a working timetable - dunno what it is because it all looks like its written in trainspotter code.

4492 Dominion of New Zealand - Swanage Engine Shed

The Swanage Folk Festival is also on this weekend across the town. So more men with beards and sandals, this time dancing around and hitting each other with sticks. It's ok they've agreed in advance to hit each other with sticks - as they dance; not randomly hitting people with sticks, that would just be silly.

Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with men with beards or sandals, its just that there will be a lot of them. 

New non-emergency number to go live.


From Monday, 19 September 2011, the telephone number to dial to contact the police in Dorset for non-emergencies will be 101. 

The new 101 non-emergency number will go live across all of the police forces in the south west on this date – and the 101 number is due to be available in all police force areas of England and Wales by the end of January 2012.

The 101 number will be replacing the current 01202 or 01305 222 222 non-emergency number in Dorset.

Members of the public should call 101 to contact the police to report less urgent crime and disorder or to speak to local officers.

For example, call 101:
·                       to give the police information about crime in your area
·                       to speak to the police about a general enquiry
·                       if your car has been stolen
·                       if your property has been damaged
·                       if you suspect drug use or dealing in your local area
·                       to report a minor traffic accident

Calls to the 101 non-emergency number – from both landlines and mobile phones – cost 15 pence per call no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

If a member of the public has a speech or hearing impairment, they can textphone 18001 101 from Monday, 19 September 2011.

More information about the 101 non-emergency number is available on the Directgov website.  

Alternatively, more details on the 101 non-emergency number can be found on the Dorset Police website. Members of the public can also contact Dorset Police for non-urgent issues through the website.

In an emergency – when a crime is in progress or life is at risk – always dial 999.

The Coastguard number is not changing. If you are in distress or see someone you believe is in trouble around the coast or out to sea,

Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Are you serious?

“My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers.........It’s not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday"

What's this chap talking about, it sounds dreadful! We don't want that sort of thing in Swanage?!!? Do we? Surely not.

Come on. Fishermen aren't all that bad, I know they smell a bit fishy, have tattoos and shout 'ahoy' a lot while wrestling crabs but what's wrong with that? 

This family need  a day with Tom 'Monster' Greasty on the San Gina 2, that'll sort 'em out.

What a Whopper. - A proper fisherman at work.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Action Coastguards.

So Tom and I were tasked to Durlston Castle to look for a missing Paddle-boarder at sea. We get stuck behind a security fence and need to get through. It's an 'Action Man Moment'.

Do we:-

(a) Use the key we don't have for the locked gate?
(b) The code for the combination lock? .....that code that we have forgotten.
(c) The 'Magic Key' ? (A sledgehammer) ....and get into trouble for busting things.
(d) Use bionic powers .....that we don't have.
(e) Use Tom's Bus Pass.

No luckily Tom and I are dead slim so like action we slipped between the security fence posts and run down to the coast.

He's not there, run back up the hill,

Squeeze through the security fence again,

Run to truck.

Drive to Anvil Point,

Run around a bit, he's not there.

Drive back to Durlston Castle,

Do some more running, suddenly using our action man swivelling eyes he's there!

Wow found him.

Argh....No radio coverage!

Run around a bit more to get coverage.

Get in contact with Lifeboat.

Lifeboat finds paddle-boarder.

Lose radio coverage, so run around a bit.

Run back to the truck via the security fence for the third time of asking.

Go home for tea.

All in a days work for 'Action Coastguards'.

And no jokes from the team that the one at the front in Navy Uniform looks like our very own Coastgaurd Steve Lacey.

......actually it really does.

Planning a maritime event?

So you want to raise some money and come up with an event which involves the sea?

You want to do something different and paddle a surf board from point A to point B

What should you be doing?...Simple talk to the Coastguard and take some advice, it might save your life, but also save thousands of pounds in rescue costs.

It's not big brother trying to watch you, it's not a nanny state, rescue work is serious, costly and time consuming for those involved.

It's why we ask anyone thinking about an event or planning a trip, just to make a simple phone call to start with and speak to one of our staff in the Operations Rooms in the Rescue Centres. It's free by the way and if the event is big enough you might be asked to take part in a Safety Advisory Group to help you further.

A Safety Advisory Group or SAG is normally chaired by the local Council and brings together people from all the emergency services and interested parties involved in a planned event. It's not there to stop an event its there to assist in the planning and ensure your event passes as smooth as possible. It also allows the emergency services to plan and be aware of peaks in demand.
(Any organiser of an event has to provide their own safety cover - you can no longer write into your risk assessments that the emergency services are your cover)

So please, think ahead, think safety

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Swanage Coastguard IRT team were this afternoon called to oversee a helicopter medivac of a person taken ill on board a pleasure boat, the Jurassic Scene. Despite being hopelessly out of position ( a story for another day) the IRT managed to return to Swanage to take advantage of a vantage point at the top of Highcliffe Road. The Medivac was conducted in the centre of Swanage Bay.

The IRT then met the boat at Swanage Pier to ascertain if any further assistance was required.

In a rare event the Poole Lifeboat who were already at sea after searching for the missing swimmers in Bournemouth were tasked by the Ops Room to assist, normally this is Swanage Lifeboat turf.  Fair play to the Swanage crew they were itching to get involved, and a lot of their crew turned up to help if necessary; dedication from them as ever.

Showing how its done:
The Swanage Lifeboat Training with R106 (August 2011)
As ever our thoughts are with the casualty and family.

Charity Events

This afternoon saw us out on a training patrol, lots of radio traffic to do with missing swimmers over at the British Heart Foundation's charity swim in Bournemouth. At one point it appeared that nine persons were unaccounted for, but it quickly became apparent that despite swimmers signing in after the event the numbers did not tally, hence the problem. Three lifeboats and a helicopter worked for nearly two hours in this search.

Yesterday there was a similar charity type incident with a sponsored paddle-boarder who was paddling from Lulworth to Studland. He was two hours overdue at the half way point and his worried mum and dad phoned the Coastguard to raise concerns. Two rescue teams (Swanage and Kimmeridge) and the Swanage ILB (RNLI) were dispatched to try and account for the chap. After a frantic search he was found near Durlston. He looked tired and kept falling in hence the request for the lifeboat to attend. After assessment by the RNLI crew the gentleman opted to carry on. Sadly we did not get the opportunity to talk to him about the lack of lifejacket, water, sunscreen or VHF radio.

Here's the controversial bit, and it's my personal view not that of HM Coastguard.

I reckon that the amount of money raised for genuine good courses by both events is great. But at what cost? i.e. The amount spent by the RNLI (A charity) and HMCoastguard (your taxes) in attending these rescues, both of which could easy be avoided with proper planning.

The quay

There is often confusion around the quay and the outfall jetty at clock tower as both are refered to as "the quay" - not easy when we are tasked to "the quay"....which one?

A quay is " a platform in a harbour for loading and unloading a ship" according to my dictionary.

Well there's an issue, Swanage doesn't really have a harbour and I would like to see a ship a long side the quay (it only has a couple of feet of water).

The old stone quay - this is near the pier and does from time to time have a boat along side it

The outfall jetty - or known as the banjo jetty locally is by the clock tower and covers the outfall pipe for the flood scheme. (it also known as another name however this is a family blog and I not printing that term here)

Well today there I was sat at the beach hut, and suddenly on the "banjo" jetty a chap got down on one knee and proposed to his girl friend.....well that's what I think happened?

Nice that he chose Swanage to do that.

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Highlight of Thursday night was watching the Station Officer, Ian, sweep some leaves up. Sometimes life as a  Coastguard can get that interesting.

He was reminded of the futility of sweeping leaves on a windy day, and I complemented him on his broom swishing leaf action, ...but despite those kind words I was told me to go home.

To be fair me watching him sweep leaves was pretty sad.  Still he did a great job and the car park was clear of leaves for at least 3 minutes. When he reads this blog no doubt I will be put on leaf sweeping duty for a month.

Meanwhile the station squirrel seemed happy enough sitting on the fence as usual.

Grey Squirrel in black and white.
(Library photo of 'station squirrel', the trees still have leaves on them!)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Off Shore Wind Farm

You may be aware that there will be a wind farm off Swanage in the near future...........

Currently this could be as close as 8/9 miles off Peveril Point. Its important that everyone has a say in what they think about this proposal so the Purbeck Gazette has a good couple of links on its web site to explain what is proposed.