Saturday, 31 December 2011

HM Coastguard - Coastal Safety

The final scores for the year

To assist Allan our Sector Manager yesterday the final paperwork for the year was submitted so closing the 2011 book.

So unless anything happens today (31st) the statistics for the year are:

The second busiest year ever (after 2010's 165 incident) 2011 - 135 incidents.

The year saw some tragedy following two major searches but also an excellent result when the team found an elderly female on The Downs in very cold conditions.

1 EOD incident
5 incidents involving animals which is a good result compared with 2010.
68 Maritime incidents involving boats, swimmers etc.
4 Miscellaneous incident
4 Cliff Rescues
22 Medical related incidents
8 Investigations
23 Searches for missing persons.

The full team went out 18 times

The truck drove 2240 miles

The team put in 2071 recordable hours during the year

Sunday at 2pm remains the busiest time for us.

No figures are held for the amount of biscuits eaten.

I will take this opportunity to thank all the team for their professionalism throughout the year and thank you to all our readers, supporters and partners.

A Happy (and safe) New Year to you all.

Portland Coastguard Manager appointed OBE

The Swanage Coastguard team wish to congratulate Mark Rodaway on his appointment of an OBE in the New Years Honours List.

Mark is the Rescue Co-ordination Centre Manager at Portland Coastguard which co-ordinate rescues in Dorset and part of Devon.

Friday, 30 December 2011

No wonder we are called the Silent Service

For many years HM Coastguard have been referred to as the 'Silent Service' as unless you are linked to the coast you wouldn't know what we did. Even when we do go out people are still confused of our role in the community and what we do and this is often because the press have mis-understood the difference between the Coastguard and the RNLI.

So in this weeks Advertiser my attention was drawn to an article by George Willey under the title " A sobering picture" with a picture of a lifeboat.....

"This year an information sheet has been issued by the Coastguard service....... " oh this is interesting what this all about....

It goes on "did you know the Peveril Point Lookout is manned 364 days a year " .....hang on this does not sound right......the Coastguard left Peveril Point in 2009 after 142 year and moved to North Beach Car Park.....we don't have a look out, that closed around 1991/2(ish) and Coastguard's are on call 365 days a year (readers will know we had an incident on Christmas day).

On it goes about binoculars and having radios.......Then at last it mentions Coastwatch....ah that's better.....oh no then it refers to the Coastguard again....this is getting confusing and I am a Coastguard.

What George's article is really about is the National Coastwatch Institution at Peveril Point, a group of volunteers who man the lookout and report to the Coastguard.
NCI along with the RNLI are referred to as "declared facilities" i.e. a group that meet a certain (high) standard and are recognised as an asset in the UK Maritime Search and Rescue network.

Sadly the article goes on to quote "Swanage Coastguard" initiated the response to 14 incidents and also helped other agencies in another 15 incidents....this has just added to the confusion of the article of who's who's.

This article is just one reason we have our own websites so we can promote the work we do and the work our partners like the RNLI and NCI do.

There is no doubt NCI Swanage do a excellent job and we fully support their work.

Thanks to Swanage Oscar who has kindly supplied a question and answer blog to clear the air.


Q. How many full time HM Coastguards are there in Swanage?

A. None. We are all volunteers. Two team members are on Immediate Response (The IRT- Team) while the other 10 are there as a Back-Up Response Team – (BURT). Under HM Coastguard rules we are not officially allowed to work to a rota, so we work to an ‘agreement’ amongst the team, this produced monthly.

Q. Where is the Swanage Coastguard Station?

A. It is at North Beach Car Park, Swanage.

Q. Are rescues co-ordinated from the Swanage Station?

A. Sort of. The Operations Room is in Weymouth known as a Maritime Rescue Co-ordiantion Centre (MRCC), as you may have heard in the press sadly this is due to close in about 5 years time and will be replaced by a central Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) based in Fareham. The Coastguard Rescue Team will remain in Swanage.  When the MRCC task us we meet at the station and formulate a rescue plan before prosecuting the rescue.  

Q. Do you operate the Lookout at Peveril Point?

A. No, but many people think we do! The lookout at Peveril Point is manned by the volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institution; (NCI)  a fine group of hard working people who give up their time for the community. They rely on voluntary contributions and are wholly separate from HM Coastguard. We often pop in to see them when out on Patrol.

Q. Do you keep your boat down at the Lifeboat Station?

A. Well we don’t have a boat, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) are a separate charitable body that are requested by the HM Coastguard Operations Room to respond. We work in close contact with Swanage Lifeboat them and will continue to do so. The main difference between us and them is that we make better tea and eat more biscuits, – I hope I haven’t started a tea war now!

Q. How much do you get paid?

A. Well we receive a small amount for our time, it’s basically the national minimum wage, so £5.73 an hour. This covers training and kit maintenance and of course rescues; extra hours such as Carnival week are unpaid. No one on the team does it for the money! Last month I took home just under £35. 

Q. So there are three separate organisations in the town that keep people on the coast and at sea safe?

A. Yes, HM Coastguard (Swanage Coastguard) provide a Search and Rescue capability with Coastguard Rescue Officers and Helicopters who work from the land. The RNLI (Swanage Lifeboat) who provide the rescue capability at sea, and the National Coastwatch Institution (Swanage) who oversee the bay from Peveril Point Lookout.

999 is for emergencies only

Colleagues in South Western Ambulance released details this week of a call from a member of the public saying he had run out of toilet paper - not something an emergency service needs.

I've also heard of calls from people not happy with their Christmas presents this week.....

999 is for genuine emergencies, life at risk - persons in distress. Not for ordering a taxis, not ordering a pizza and not a form of directory enquiries....all have and are regular requests to the emergency services.

Perhaps people do not realise that the miss use of the 999 system can result in a fine, all calls are recorded and traceable. Its simple's some pointers

Serious Medical issue.......Ambulance
House on fire.....................Fire
Crime in progress.............Police
Person in distress at sea..Coastguard

All the services have an "non emergency number" if the incident is not urgent - use the system properly.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Dont drink and drown

The MCA runs a campaign to reduce the number of incidents related to drinking related drownings - 7000 people in the last 15 years drowned in the UK, 1000 of these were drink related.

In the last 3 months in Swanage we have seen several incidents where people have ended up in the water after going late night drinking........

We want people to enjoy themselves this New Year Eve, we do not want to join the Police knocking on someone's door in the early hours of January 1st to break bad news.

Drink sensibly - alcohol and the sea don't mix - the sea temperature is approaching its coldest.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Triangulo de las Bermudas

‘Where’s the Bermuda Triangle?’ asked one of my work colleagues the other day.  I was going to give a fairly quick ‘ …um near Bermuda’ response but thought better of it as it was a genuine question.

Anyway it is located between the Bahamas, The Straits of Florida and well yes, Sherlock Holmes…the Island of Bermuda. sounds even more mysterious in Spanish.

Meanwhile I tried to calculate the exact location of the ‘Pen Triangle’.

This is a smaller triangle, which it is suggested, is located between the steering wheel of the rescue truck, the driver’s side door and the gear stick. No matter how many pens we put in the truck they always go AWOL. Readers you would not believe the amount of pens that disappear, hundreds. And yes we can write stuff.

Now some wag has suggested that Austen eats them, which is not true. Others that casualties swipe them, (I’m sure a diver with the bends is more worried about his own health than think it was a crafty opportunity to swipe a pen!) I like to blame the Lifeboat Crew; to be fair they never come anywhere near our truck but its always good to pin it on someone, so it might as well be them. Saying that Nick is never short of pens; and his name obviously fits too....must be him.

Anyway I bought four pens with key ring attachments down in town, I’m going to tie them all to the gear stick on a piece of elastic so they can't disappear into the Pen Triangle.  

Cheap and plastic 
Which reminds me.

....for Barry Manilow Fans, I knows you are going to like this.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A little bit of history.........when helicopters were big!

September 2005, Durlston Bay......rescue of a person from the side of the cliff on the Downs.

Coastguard helicopter "parked" on the Downs

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Christmas Cake connection

The other day my neighbour was busy in her kitchen creating her...well Christmas cake.....

Oddly it reminded me of several things.

1) This picture of an anti tank mine that two young chaps pulled out of "little sea" a few years ago.

2) It was soon to be Boxing Day and as in previous years the team have been out waiting for the EOD team to arrive to dispose of something someone had dug up!

Well thankfully Boxing day has passed and we have not been out, but I did see several people out this morning with new metal detectors which no doubt as their skills develop so the "finds" will increase.

So a little reminder.....

Be sure you have the landowners permission to use a metal detector - certain areas have a ban

If you find something and are not sure what it is...STOP.....and get advice.

DO NOT dig it up, DO NOT transport it to home or to a Police/Coastguard Station

Stay safe.....

As for the neighbours Christmas Cake ......EOD will be round on Thursday to carry out a control detonation....

Operation Lemonade

Operation Lemonade – An Updated and 'Refreshed' Blog for 2012!

The current Blog was set up about 4 years ago on a hand written code template; thanks to Dave Turnball at Swanage RNLI. It has served us well but was starting to creak at the seams. We have therefore decided to move to a new blogger template, which will allow more flexibility in the design and posting options. It will be easier to maintain and add items without writing html code, which is a right pain.

In moving to the new template we have taken the opportunity to 'refresh' the look (Operation Lemonade = Refreshing). We have tried to keep the same corporate colour so that it appears familiar to our readers but sharpen the page up to a more contemporary style. It’s also been optomised for mobile viewing on iPhone, iPads and Raspberry Phones; hopefully Android users also.

A Sneaky Preview Screenshot..

The new template will be full screen on PC and iMac and allow supersize images and video to be posted, plus more interactive content like the incident map to be used properly. There will be loads more integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Currently we can have between 250 to 1500 unique readers a day, dependent on what’s going on, including 200+ regular facebook followers. Most readers are local although some are from much further afield. Hello (Hola!) to the people from Chile.

Next year it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics, some of which will be held 15 miles down the road sea in Weymouth. Oh, and let's not forget Coastguard Dee's big day, she is getting married to a lifeboat chap also. It’s going to be an exciting and busy year, and to meet this challenge head on we’ve got some new recruits joining the Swanage Coastguard Team.

We will migrate to the new template 01 January 2012. It will be in exactly the same place, but will look new.

... and that’s because it is!

We hope you like it.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning
The team are out on an emergency this morning.  Once the casualty is taken care of there are still 4 dogs to deal with....

...and some biscuits on return to station.

santa's been.....pagers gone off

its 7.38 and the pagers have gone off.....

southwestern ambulance have requested assistance on studland beach........more soon

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Track Santa

Often the Coastguard get called out to reports of lights, flares and objects in the sky so Coastguards around the country will be monitoring Santa's movements tonight to ensure no false alarms.

Rudolph's red nose could easily be mistaken for a red flare but your call is important so never put off calling 999 if you think something is wrong - the Coastguard will do the checking.

15:15 He's been spotted in China....

Friday, 23 December 2011

Out in the cold

Kit night on Wednesday was not just about eating sausage rolls.....there is a serious side despite being in December the equipment is still washed, refuelled ready for the next incident.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Call Out?

Call Out?

Its odds-on for the pagers to go off today as one of the team is going abseiling.  See you about 11.00am then Nick?

Christmas Milestones

There are some dates that are historically significant when it comes to Christmas.

1884    The Great Christmas Frost Fair on the frozen River Thames
1843    The first Christmas card was sent.
1931    The Coca-Cola company ‘invent’ a red suited Santa Claus.
1983    The first truly commercial Christmas sees parents fighting in shops for Cabbage Patch Kid dolls.

And a new date for the archives:-

2011    The Great Swanage Sausage Roll Feast.

Due a communications mix up a truck load of sausages rolls turned up at the station for the last Kit Night of the year; strangely enough they had a short shelf life and needed eating.

The Swanage Team are always up for a challenge and saw the said sausages rolls off the premises in double quick time. Seven Coastguards put away over 120 sausage rolls (cocktail style) in under 90 minutes. For those of you interested in statistics this equates to 17 Sausage rolls each, or 15 inches each when measured end to end; the collective eating rate was 1 roll per officer every 5 minutes and 19 seconds. The graph below shows sausage rolls per officer, Gareth in Red, Austen in Green...not sure what Brian in Blue was up to?

Two tubes of Pringles provided ‘afters’.

After all those sausage rolls we have double checked the cliff rope specifications i.e. breaking strains. We remain within the ropes' safety tolerances …but only just.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Something New Coming Soon..........

New Book

We had an email last week via our other website from Pete Leak.....

Pete was a Coastguard on the East Coast for 27 years, 12 of those in charge, he has written a book and looking on his web site there are some interesting photos.

Fishing boat sinks off Cornwall

Colleagues in Cornwall were in action last night with a sad outcome.

The BBC news report.

A Christmas Message

Its that time of year when we reflect on the year and hopefully sit down for 5 minutes and catch up with friends and family.

1st of all some thank you's - To the team members, families and friends, with out them supporting the team out on incidents we just would not function. We are no longer a team of 12 or 13 its more like 200 when you count up everyone you supports us.

Special thanks to the staff of the MRCC at Portland who have not had the best of news regarding their future. Despite this they continue to co ordinate incidents to the highest standards.
Thank you to the St Albans team who continue to join us on a regular basis to support certain incidents. To Rob (Weymouth Sector Manager) who looked after us until Allan arrived.

Our partners - Swanage Lifeboat crew who we enjoy working with all the normal banter that happens. National Coastwatch Swanage, their work at Peveril Point is very valuable and enables us to cover other areas whilst they sit and monitor the bay. South Western Ambulance - Swanage crews for their continued support, Dorset Police for the many times this year we have worked together and Phil's team at Dorset Fire and Rescue (Swanage).

Swanage Town Council for their continued support especially the beach wardens and staff at the tourist information centre.
All the wardens and staff at the National Trust around Studland.

Middle beach cafe, Bankes Arms, Ocean Bay, Pier Head cafe and the many other places where the team are looked after on their travels !

Finally the community of Swanage who support us so well.

A Merry (and safe) Christmas from everyone at Swanage Coastguard.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Nyan Cat - What?

Can anyone offer an explanation as to why 'Nyan Cat' was the 4th most watched video on youtube this year?

Half cat... half pop tart...


Rescue 106

Rescue 106 was in action on Saturday supporting our colleagues from Wyke with the rescue of an injured surfer .

Monday, 19 December 2011


It's about this time of year when we run out of things to write so fall back on photos from the year......

Lifeboat chaps having some fun.

Messing around with Coastguard 106

Coastguard Dee's for breaky.

106 in flight.

Breakfast Baps after an all nighter...

Beer Festival at the Bankes Arms.....

The photos above are in large format but we have a sneaky plan for the new year to allow us to add extra large photos. Watch this space for more info of 'Operation Refresh'.

Sunday, 18 December 2011


the latest picture.......whilst out for a walk yesterday.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

So....who is 40?????

Awwww isn't he cute.

Big birthday for the big man.....

A top secret birthday party was held in town tonight. Top dancing, curry, and a chilli ....and a cake.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Weather Updates

Showers will continue to affect parts of central and western Scotland, at times this evening, tonight and into Thursday morning.
Clearer spells between these showers will lead to a risk of widespread ice, mainly on untreated roads. In addition some accumulations of snow are likely on some high level roads in the Highlands, mainly above 300m.
A widespread frost will also develop on Wednesday evening, overnight and lasting well into Thursday morning in N Ireland and parts of N England. Untreated roads will become icy especially where rain sleet and snow has fallen. On Thursday morning showers may spread in from the southwest into N Ireland, and fall onto frozen surfaces, increasing the ice risk.
Rain clearing Wales and SW England later in the night may well lead to icy stretches on Thursday morning even on roads previously treated.

Missing Person - found safe and well

The IRT assisted Dorset Police this afternoon in a search for a missing male from the town.

With the hours of daylight limited and the predicted weather forecast, the team deployed using defined search patterns - thankfully the male was located safe by Police Officers about 4 miles from his home.


As the bad weather continues perhaps we can remind readers to check on any vulnerable neighbours or relatives. Whilst we do not have snow and ice (yet) working with our Partner Agencies we encourage people just to help and support each other.
Perhaps check they have enough shopping - couple of extra tins of soup in the cupboard for example.
Check they are warm and not using heating appliances which are dangerous.
If they need to go out, perhaps you can help with a lift, strong winds can be dangerous with items blowing around in the street.

Helping each other helps us as Emergency Services and Partner Agencies help those at greatest risk.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Further bad weather

The Met office have issued further weather warnings for the week. This time last year we were battling ice and snow this year its wet and very windy.

Stay safe, plan your journeys if they are necessary and always check the forecast.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Weather update

Gale warnings - Issued: 2146 UTC Sun 11 Dec
Southerly storm force 10 expected later
Shipping Forecast - Issued: 1130 UTC Mon 12 Dec
West 5 to 7, backing south or southeast gale 8 to storm 10, veering southwest 7 to severe gale 9 later.
Sea State
Rough or very rough.
Squally showers, rain for a time.
Good, occasionally poor.

Someone had a birthday

We missed something very important this week and on behalf of the team we must apologise for this.

John Bentham had a very special birthday on the 8th and his daughters arranged for this very special cake to mark the occasion.

Readers will know John is still on the mend and slowly returning to life in the team, supported by the team and the MCA.

We also would point out that any similarities between the bold character above and Pip our old Sector Manager are purely a coincident.

So....sorry John, Happy Birthday.

Festive Hat

Gareth sporting his Festive Hat. Apparently it's a Cornish thing.....

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Storms - Yellow Warning

BBC:- Two further storms will be making their way from the Atlantic towards the UK over the coming days, this as parts of Scotland recover from the widespead disruption brought by last Thursday's storm.
The Met Office have issued a yellow early warning for a period of very stormy weather next week, with severe gales or storm force winds expected to affect southern and western parts of the UK by Monday night and during Tuesday.
A quieter period of weather mid week will be a brief respite before a second storm sweeps in from the west on Thursday afternoon.
There is the potential for some severe disruption from both storms.

Nick's Vegetarian Option

And he blamed the wine today !

The Christmas Dinner and the Party Hat

A very nice dinner at the Courtyard at Kingston this year saw the team get together to look back on the year.

It was nearly a multi agency party at one stage when Dee's party hat fell off into a candle, this turned into a flaming ball on the table, quickly flicked onto the floor. Dee and Daz then started the Swanage Coastguard version of the River Dance which extinguished the flames and meant we didn't have to share the dinner with the Fire Service.

John Bentham was voted as the "President" of the Swanage Coastguard Association (aka the tea fund) to reflect his 30 years service. Being El Presidente meant the dinner was on us and gave him the power to fine anyone not wearing a party hat.

Table decorations make great hats.
Dee doesn't like party hats so she set fire to hers.

A round up of the year saw the annual presentation of the Swanage Coastguard of the year award, in memory of Mike Williamson to Nick Field. Nick - a co author of the blog and in his 2nd year with the team has been very supportive in the daily working of the team.

The Award ....this photo was defo in focus last night,
mmm perhaps something to do with the free wine.

I sure the photos of the evening will slowly appear in the next 48 hours. Our thanks to the St Albans team for covering us during the evening, especially as we were on their patch !

Weather Warning

After last weeks strong winds in Scotland, it appears its our turn with strong wind and rain.

The Met Office is currently issuing a "yellow warning" for Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Meal

Tonight is the team's Christmas Meal; it's the only time in the entire year the Swanage Coastguard Team ever go fully 'offline'.

Our colleagues at St Albans are covering, and thanks to them for doing so.

Last year we drank the restaurant out of beer...which wasn't too much of an effort as they only had six bottles; so we drank wine instead.

More sprouts Ian?
Prrrrrph... perhaps not,  judging by Sandie's reaction.

Heat Camera

Here's some photos from the search exercise the other night. Wet windy and dark, and slippy underfoot made this a tricky exercise.

The casualty was 'hiding' in a valley near Tilly Whim caves. After about 20 minutes of searching the first team managed to get a small 'contact' of reflective fabric using a high powered LED torch. A slight movement allowed the team to decide to investigate further. Given the topography a second team were called down to the far side of the valley and conned onto the contact position.

At night, at a distance it was hard to see what was going on.

Reflective Jackets (what you can't see is how close they are to a rocky drop off)

The first search team had the heat camera which is far more effective than an infrared night sight.

Dee used this to film the action.

It's hard to convey in photos how useful the heat camera is! You can pick up a rabbit in the dark at 250m., it's that sensitive.

In this search it allowed us to cover a hours worth of ground in under 10 minutes. On a cold night that could be the difference between a successful recovery, or a fatality.

...sadly its only on test and has been passed back to the manufacturer. It's £6k of equipment, which in the current economic climate, means we will have to do without.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Cunning Plan

"So how tall is Ian?" asked Tom.

"In feet and inches, ...or digestive biscuits?" said I jokingly

"Digestive biscuits" replied Tom, calling my bluff.

Not one to have my bluff called I looked at the biscuits in the cupboard and formulated a cunning plan. It was a very cunning plan....a very cunning plan quote Blackadder:-

Gareth and Tom working on their cunning plan (You choose who's who)

Blackadder: Baldrick, I have a very, very, very cunning plan.
Baldrick: Is it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on, and is now working for the UN at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
Blackadder: Yes, it is.
Baldrick: Mm... That's cunning!

The plan went like this.

(a) Stack packs of biscuits up against the door.
(b) Tom calls Ian to the office.
(c) Gareth takes photo.
(d) Run like hell.

Got Him!
7 Packets of Rich Tea

So he's 7 packets of Rich Tea Tall, or 147 Rich Tea Biscuits in total.
(Reader:- But that doesn't tell us how tall he is in digestive biscuits - which was the actual question!)

Well using the well known european biscuit conversion table this equates 92.3 Standard Digestives or 90.12 Chocolate Digestives.

Windy Night?

Looks a bit windy up north.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


The ship in the earlier blog has swung round now, revealing itself to be the Trinity House Vessel Galatea.Galatea is a multi function tender, providing support to the Trinity House lighthouse service in tasks such as maintenance work, buoy deployment, wreck location marking and towing. She is also able to carry out additional tasks such as hydrographic surveying and wreck finding and contract commercial work. Today I see she has a couple of navigation bouys on the aft deck.

Her normal home port is Harwich, so its not hard to see why she'd want to spend a couple of days with us in Swanage.

Christmas Tree

Its another lovely morning in Swanage and I see we have a visitor in the form of this boat moored in the bay. Don't know what its doing here, although I expect someone will tell us.

It arrived yesterday actually and was lit up like a Christmas tree last night. It was also here a couple of weeks ago, stayed for a day and went again.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The answer is:-

Over — I have finished talking and I am listening for your reply. Short for "Over to you."
Out — I have finished talking to you and do not expect a reply. Correct Gold stars!
Over and Out - You can't be over and out at the same time. If you do say this someone will probably laugh / start foaming at the mouth and shouting at the radio.
Roger- I understand what you just said. ...He also lives next door to Ian.
Bye Bye - Heard only once in my coastguard career..."Thank you Rescue 106 for your assistance today, Bye out"...followed by a load of good natured abuse from us and then the ops room and helo pilot bursting into laughter.

Access All Areas

One of the purposes of our regular local knowledge and accident prevention patrols is to check access routes. Here's Dee on patrol near Durlston a few weeks ago.

The padlock on this gate had rusted up and needed oiling and a lot of persuasion before it would open. In an emergency we could have found other less subtle ways to open it, but we don't like to upset local landowners! So maintenance is another of our patrol objectives.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A rare event

Every now and then something happens which is too good to miss.
A bit like a visit from Halley's comet , its rare and something to see.

Well one of key supporters has unfortunately lost her voice and the opportunity to see this rare and peaceful event is just too good to see/hear!

We are of course talking about the Deputy Mayor...Cllr. Patrick, often seen drinking tea at the station or arranging lots of people to sign up to facebook and costing me money as the total membership went over 200.

So why not pop along to the Council Meeting on Monday night to witness this key event!

I'm probably now in serious trouble, however we of course wish to send her our best wishes to get better soon.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Search in the rain

Last night Portland Coastguard put the team through its paces in a search at Durlston.

Conditions were far from pleasant however we do have to go out in conditions far from warm and dry. The story was that a man had called his friend to say he was walking in the country park when he started to have chest pains - he failed to call again and his mobile was just ringing out.

Austen was in charge and we were joined for real by the Police as often we work closely on these searches. Two teams deployed and began searching using the thermal camera.

After about an hour the team found the male hidden and then played out the situation presented using first aid and then extraction from a difficult position in very difficult conditions.

Back to the station for hot drinks and a debrief. I am pleased to say the team did very well and proved they were competent to carry out the different searches the Coastguard carry out.

Our thanks to the staff at Portland, Allan, Ros, Malcolm (also known as Poppy the casualty) and John for assisting in this exercise.

Only one problem now......lots of drying out to do now !

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Man shot in buttocks by dog.

In non-Coastguard related, firearm wielding dog on boat news.....

"The dog got excited, was jumping around inside the boat and then it jumped on the gun. It went off, shooting the (decoy setter) in the buttocks."

"Neither the dog, which has not been identified, nor any ducks within range at the time of the accident, were injured."