Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bridge Building

It was kit night last night, so Ian brought in this model kit railway bridge called Eric. Strange name for a bridge, but thats what it said on the blue paper.Ultimately we hope to extend the layout right round the station with Eric the bridge forming the link across the door of what used to be the training room, now the model railway room. The tunnel through to the former office is nearly complete and once we've found alternative accomodation for the truck we'll be moving into the garage too.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

So what's going on

well that's the issue, there is not a huge amount going on that we can show you or tell you about.

a lot of the team are very busy in their daily work and this puts added pressure on the team members left.

looks like Gareth was attacked by a vampire today or gave some blood, this gave him the right (so he thought) to eat almost a packet of biscuits.

kit night was a success tonight which saw even more training for the new team members (we must introduce them to you!)

February is always a quiet month so expect things to pick up in march.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Hold fast

The hold fast in this picture is still the basic anchoring procedure used today to attach the equipment too.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Training mad

with 3 new team members the team are training hard to bring everyone up to standard required to be operational. this morning a 8 am start for roger and a trip around wytch farm, theres so much in a little patch!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Poole RNLI

I see our colleagues at Poole RNLI were busy earlier in the week.

With the weather set to improve, more people will be out and about enjoying the sea and coastline over the coming weeks, but remember it is still February, and conditions can change quickly. Be prepared!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Poole Coastguard joins the network

Our colleagues to the north have set up a new web site to promote their work.

Poole Coastguard cover from Bournemouth Pier to Keysworth farm near Wareham.

One of the big differences between Poole and Swanage is they are a mud team along with the many calls they get to man the landing site for the helicopter.

Check out their site and look forward to seeing "Rid" arrive to continue his Coastguard career over the water.

That call out map looks very familiar?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Access Routes

A lunchtime walk and a perfect opportunity to check some of the footpaths up on to Ballard Down.
We had a night time emergency up here last month, so its always good to keep familiar with these places.
Studland, Brownsea and Poole can be seen in the background.


Its hard to believe that its been a year since Jesse disappeared and the tragic discovery of his body at Ballard five days later.

On Saturday I was invited by Derek and Patsy Jones to attend a get together at the Fortes Coffee Bar to remember their son along with family and friends.

Throughout the year his friends have done Jesse proud and they certainly did again on Saturday , presenting his family with photos and sharing happy times.

Jesse's memory lives on in Swanage and will do for many many years to come.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


The Station Alarm is going off which means one of two things. Either we have burglars, or Eric is over the Station.

A quick peeps out of the window ....and its Eric!

We used to think that he couldn't remember the code and accidentally set it off ....but we have since found out that he does it deliberately to let the community of North Swanage know when he's on station.

Just for a laugh he sometimes likes to punch the burglar alarm code into the fire alarm system and set both off for good measure.

Still at least he didn't try and break into the Station like these two numpties.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Todays Patrol

Todays patrol started a little eariler that usual with some care of the equipment.

Roger was repairing our metal stakes and taking the sharp edges off the "heads" which have developed over time being hit into the ground.

The kit was straighted in the back of the truck to ensure everything was accounted for.

Then it was off and out to check the tracks and access points we often have to use. Due to ground conditions one route up to Ballard is off limits till it dries out.

Then along Studland beach. not many people about due to the weather before returning to Swanage to refuel the truck.

It does not sound much but the 2 hour patrol is all about training, running the truck and checking access routes are open.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Falling Dogs Rising

The BBC Website is running a piece this morning about the numbers of dogs falling off cliffs. The safety message we keep repeating on here and elsewhere jsut doesn't seem to be getting through.
It reports that within Dorset there have been 15 dog falls in the last 6 months, and nationally already 17 in 2012!

It is believed that dogs' vision works differently to ours, so they won't necessarily see that there is a drop of 100 feet or so between the edge of the cliff and the sea. It is thought that they see it seamlessly merging into one, hence they don't stop when they run near the edge.

Whatever the theory, the practical aspects are simple: Keep your dog on a lead when at or near the cliff edge.

In other news, I've got some screenwash which has been unexpectedly returned to me, so if anyone wants some let me know. Slight indentation in the side of the bottle but otherwise as good as new......

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Scotchman

A reader asked what a device was in an early photo laying on the cliff edge - it was a scotchman.

The official description is " Devices for protecting cliff lines against chafe as they come over the cliff edge. They can be metal, or canvas covered wood. PVC should NOT be used.

As can be seen, most of these devices are home made but why they are called " a scotchman" remains a little mystery.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Slip watch on location

Slipwatch went on location today, a visit to Kimmeridge. Well worth a visit to see some unique geology but remember when walking along any beach under cliffs to be careful.

Check the tides
Be aware of loose rocks falling.
Never dig into the cliff (fossil hunting)
Never try to take a short cut and try and climb up a cliff - always use proper paths.

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Monday, 13 February 2012

St Valentine’s Day - Safety Advice For Blokes.

Yes tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day – St Valentine being the Patron Saint of made up days designed purely to sell flowers, chocolates and cards  lovers.

In fact he is officially the patron saint of beekeeping, the plague, epilepsy and fainting. Yes you heard it here first. Still if I run that argument past the missus the chances are I’ll get a saucepan rapped around my head.

So I thought enter into the spirit and put some hearts on the blog – what a great background hey readers? (You wait to Easter I’ve got a fluffy chickens background also- sooo cute!).

Anyway, here’s some Valentine’s Day Q&As

How much should I spend on the other half?
Don’t go overboard now; this is a recession. Cards are available form 7p at ASDA . If you’re thinking of a meal for two, a pair of pot noodles will set you back less than £2.00.

Have I left it too late to get her indoors something nice?
No, you may still have time , Coop is open till 20:00 and they have chocolates; if you’re lucky the roast chickens on the deli counter will also be reduced to £2.00. 

But I’m reading this blog after 20:00 – I’m stuffed right?
No, actually there is a fallback position. Both Triangle Garage and St Michael’s Service Station are both open until 22:00, they do a range of flowers which live in the bucket outside the shop door. If they’re gone then I’d go for the Pringles offer 2 for £2 or a 500ml screenwash.

Is Screenwash a winner? Really?
No, but you left it late and I’m trying to be helpful. Spin her some yarn about you loving her so much that you didn’t want a dirty windscreen causing her to drive into a badly parked milk float …hence the screenwash.

Will she believe me?
No chance!

Any other advice?
Yes, tell her that if she is using screenwash at this time of year to dilute it at a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part screenwash to avoid freezing.

Pink Screenwash for the ladies.

...and i'm so dead for putting this up.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Glow in the dark

Would seem the team are having their "Ready Brek" (other breakfast cereal is available).
Training last week had the team in full kit and this photo shows how reflective the clothing is.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

"...Come to the dark side we have Biscuits."

This notebook turned up on my kitchen table; for a moment I thought it was the new recruitment poster for Swanage Coastguard.

Regular readers of the blog will know we are currently training 3 new entrants with another 2 recruits waiting in the wings. Normally we replace one for one but in this busy Olympic year we are block training a group which is more cost effective in terms of time. Many already have emergency service experience so that helps to speed up the process. Others bring different skills the idea being to have a balanced team - we now have another 'Mr Fix It' in the team which is great!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

How things were done in the past

Health and Safety?? Can't use real people anymore for practises even if its a high ranking Officer!

That extra bit

We do our best when out and about but sometimes we rearrange the landscape and bring it back to the station.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

T S M S S M S T "VI"

Today, Eric and I attended the " The Swanage Middle School Soggy Muddy Sponsored Trail "VI" " to assist the school and help raise money for "Hero's Haven".

As can be seen Fire turned up in their "BIG" truck just to make ours look little !

With freezing temperatures the children ran the course whilst we shouted encouragement. Eric can be seen walking the route but got diverted and found the soup kitchen !

Well done Swanage Middle, what a super day.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Training at minus 1.5

Just returned from training in Days Park with a temperature of -1.5 (sorry to teams north of Watford, who normally operate in these conditions unlike us Southern softies.)

It took a few minutes for the team to realise we were actually going out in February and that it was dark ! Having explained that's what those nice glow in the dark jackets are for, 12 grumpy CRO's jumped into action.

Stage 3 of the cliff training - Set up and recovery using the winch and tugger (tugger being a pulley system to recover someone over the cliff instead of the winch)

Back to the station to clean down, thaw out and discover 12 people in the training room really don't fit in.

Roger made the drinks and Lee washed up so the trainees are fitting in very well.

Another one from the past

A photo from the past showing the football club and Days Park. The Grammar School is at the top of the photo and our station (North Beach Car Park) would be in the bottom right hand side.
Bonfield Avenue is still under construction.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Accession Day

Swanage Coastguard marked Accession Day and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by raising the flag at the station today.

Whilst we won't be expecting a visit we wish Her Majesty a special day and look forward to the forthcoming celebrations in the coming months.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

It's a Small World. Or Medium. Or Large. Or Extra Large

Occasional Blog's blogs have become even more occasional recently - partly because I'm away with work at the moment helping British companies sell their goods and services overseas. Well, only partly.

Regular readers will have read about our uniform orders in the past. Well, by chance, here with me in Saudi Arabia at the moment is the MD of the company that supplies our uniform, Miller Rayner Ltd of Southampton, busy pursuing export opportunities in the ports and maritime world.

We held a smart reception last night for the British companies on the mission so I decided to wear my Miller Rayner Coastguard tie to promote both the company itself and HM Coastguard Service - I knew it would come in useful one day.

Oh, and another thing....turns out Rob doesn't just make quality clothing for the discerning Coastguard Rescue Officer, he's also a volunteer on the Freshwater Lifeboat crew. Top bloke! Have to do a blog on that one day and add them to our links page (...already done).

In other news, its about 26C here in Jeddah; what's it like back home?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Its no snow

well its no snow for us,whilst elsewhere in the country its a different story.
here in swanage all we have is very puddles however these could cause problems if they freeze later.

Take Care

the weather continues to be very cold and snow has been forecast for later today in some parts of the country. the coastguard will be on standby to assist our partner agencies if required. if you do have to go out be prepared, have the correct clothing on and if you are using your car ensure it has fuel and take the advice of motor organisations and take extra items like a flask, blanket etc.

why not also check on your neighbours and make sure they are OK, perhaps getting them some shopping if they struggle to get out.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Weather Warning

Issued at - 02 Feb 2012, 12:43
Valid from - 04 Feb 2012, 12:00
Valid to - 04 Feb 2012, 23:59

A band of snow is expected to move slowly across England and Wales during Saturday afternoon and evening. Accumulations of snow of around 5cm are likely in places; this includes low lying areas. The public are advised that some travel disruption may result, and should pay close attention to forecasts as the event approaches. Snow is like to turn to sleet then rain in Wales and more western parts of England later on Saturday.The public is advised to take extra care, further information and advice can be found here:

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Tidy trailer

After years of the kit "bouncing" about in the trailer , along comes a Roger, some wood, screws, a kit night and problem solved. Can't wait to see how the kitchen units will fit in the back of the truck which I'm told is his next project.

Poole Pirates

Another driving course this week visited the station and must have included some pirates from Poole ! Clearly they felt the need to leave a note, thankfully they left the wheels on the truck.

Do not worry we have got our own back by sending them Rid !