Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dee Tomes - Coastguard Lima

Some sad news from the Station tonight as Coastguard Lima - Dee Tomes - is doing her final IRT cover after three years with the team.

Dee, who is married to lifeboatman Darren Tomes, is spending more and more time in the family business and can't cover as many turns as she'd like so she is stepping aside to let someone else have a go.

Dee's input to the team has been invaluable - in the past she used to be a beachwarden so she knows the ropes there.   She also makes the best bacon sandwiches in Swanage as the team found out prior to a Sunday morning training session last year.

Best of luck in the future Dee, and you are welcome back at the Station any time.

Dee in charge of the Truck

Dee in charge of the helecopter

Dee at the offical opening of a gate at Durlston

Dee moments before the famous Christmas Hat Inferno which regrettably means we'll be dining elsewhere this Christmas

Dee's departure means that there is an opportunity for a new Coastguard Rescue Officer.  You don't need any previous experience as full training is given, but you do need to be reasonably fit, prepared to learn new skills, a team player and prepared to give up some regular time to serve your community.

To see what we do, check out the following MCA videos:

1. Cliff Rescue
2. Search

If you'd like to know more, please get in touch via the website, or drop in to see us at the Coastguard Station in North Beach car park.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Fishing Boat - Sinking

So how long can it take for a fishing vessel to sink?

This clip from the BBC this lunchtime shows just how quickly.

Astonishingly quickly!

Not much time to put lifejackets on!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Major Search

Last night the IRT got tasked by Portland Coastguard to carry out a search from Old Harry to the chain ferry. Our tasking was only a very small part of a major search being coordinated by Solent Coastguard searching for a lone sailor missing from his yacht which was found on the Isle of Wight.

The yacht set out from Poole yesterday morning with the lone sailor who was believed to have purchased the yacht that morning. The yacht was located with the engine running and the sails set, a life jacket was also found on board but no sign of the male.

The search was carried by Rescue 104 and 106, Swanage, Poole and Southbourne Coastguard teams, Freshwater lifeboat and probably a few more assets which we may not have heard.

The search area was huge and 5 hours of searching in low temperatures sadly did not locate the sailor.

Always wear a life jacket and proper equipment.
Check the weather and sea conditions before setting off.
Ensure you know your limitations.
Have a VHF radio
Carry flares

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bridge to Engine Room....

Another picture from our training exercise on the chain ferry the other day, showing Eric and Chris (honestly, it is Chris, even though you can only see his arm) with a collpased casualty in the restricted confines of the engine room.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How Peveril Point used to be

 Another hairy photo from history - this was when the lookout was operated by the Coastguard.  Mr Brooks from the Council clearly hasn't been up with the mower.

Note the second world war structure under the telegraph pole - today just the footings are left.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Helicopters at.......Middle Beach

Another from the open day......believe this is a Middle Beach and is a Wessex helicopter from Lee on Solent.  1970 /80 ????

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sneaking over to St Albans

This Sunday's Patrol popped over to St Albans Coastguard Station to say hello to the members from both teams who gave up their Sunday to do first aid training. They were so keen that when the Sector Manager said he'd finished they asked to do more training on neck collars. As the late Roy Castle used to sing 'dedication's what you need'.

The patrol then drove down to the Coastwatch Station to see what they were up to.

They were watching he coast which is why they call themselves Coastwatch.

High Tide

A very high tide at Knoll Beach Studland this week.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Urgent Callout

An urgent Callout for some team members tonight.......

A text message was received this afternoon from a team member saying a well known Swedish furniture manufacturer had turned up with his new sofa but refused to actually move it further than the back door.

Dead on 18.00, CRO'S Craker, Patrick and the SO arrived at the DSO's house and jumped in to action.  The old sofa was soon despatched out the back door, despite the DSO splitting his trousers (again) and Roger getting his trousers caught on the gas cooker and nearly blowing the house up.  The kitchen light was thankfully saved at the last second when Brian took a dive kicking the base of the sofa out.

Once out in the rear yard, the neighbour looked out in despair as four grown men were wrestling with a large cardboard box getting the new sofa out. Thankfully this part of the operation went a lot smoother than the 1st and the new sofa arrived in the lounge, leaving the job of getting rid of all the packing to Gareth.

We regret that this service is not available to the public, it was only that Gareth offered us chocolate.  Always read the small print where the delivery driver from that Swedish furniture company (who also make meat balls) will actually drop your new sofa.  There are probably other Swedish manufactures of sofas and meat balls but I couldn't find any on the Internet.

Biscuit Heaven

80’s one hit wonder pop sensation Belinda Carlisle once sang ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ …you know the song ‘oooh baby do you know what that worth…ooh heaven is a place on earth’ x36 or more times. They use the tune for some holiday caravan park advert on TV. I for one never knew that Heaven was actually a holiday camp near Weymouth – I assumed, wrongly, it was further north and had clouds and stuff.

Well indeed Heaven may be found on this earth; in fact Ian’s Heaven has been found in the corner of Coop, next to the bacon fridge; close to the ready cooked chickens that always seem to be reduced. It’s only a stack of Jaffa Cakes, from my reckoning there’s approximately 25 yards of the lightly blighters.

I told him about this Jaffa Cake Heaven earlier this morning and by 8:10 Coop mysteriously sold out – what are the chances of that?!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Scared of Heights - Not a problem.

The open day on Sunday was a lot of fun, with kids and adults keen to try on a helmet and ask questions about what we do. 

The most asked question was probably 'Are you scared of heights?' when looking over the cliff rescue gear; followed by 'I'm not sure I could do that!'.

Well the answer to the first question is yes and no. 

A healthy respect for the cliffs, combined with good training, good kit and team support makes it a lot easier. People join for all sorts of reasons and not all volunteers want to go over a cliff; well that's just fine- it's not obligatory. 

So if you fancy making a difference to your community and training to become a HM Coastguard Rescue Officer, please get in contact.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Time for tea


Lee caught making tea, I'm told this is quite rare so we took the picture for historic reasons. Or was he just making his own whilst local dive skipper Dave, made his own?

Two cheeseburgers and a hot dog chaser please.

Meanwhile the Sector Manager got confused thinking he's standing at a burger van. We were quite impressed with the caravan so we have hidden it ready for some events next year.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Correction and an Apology

It seems that in yesterday's blog entry I descibed local photographer and CG supporter Julian Sawyer as a purveyor of kitchenware.  I now understand that this is not true and he is in fact selling his calendars.

And sorry for recycling what is, frankly, becoming a rather tired and worn out joke now. But recycling's good, isn't it!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Health and Safety

Check this photo out......using a LIVE casualty ??!!!

 (If fact it is Dave Gough who was used quite a lot as he was the lightest !)

Oh how things have changed

Busy Station

Busy day yesterday with the station open day, and a chance to welcome some old friends.  I'm neither old nor friendly, so I didn't go myself, but I hear it all went well.
A local quizmaster, photographer and purveyor of kitchenware took this photo, so I nicked it and popped it on our site.  Thanks Julian.

There really is some stunning natural beauty and magnificence here in Purbeck, although as I said before, I didn't go yesterday. Instead, whilst you're here, why not take a look at Julian's Purbeck Footprints website, full of some stunning images of this place we are fortunate to live and work in.  His 2013 calendars are available and if you buy now, you get 14 months' use instead of 12.  Bargain!

After this shameless plug, I expect an arty sunset silhouette shot on next year's calendar with the lighthouse in the background, and the local Coastguard team in the foreground setting up for a cliff rescue.  The juxtaposition of natural beauty and......natural beauty!

Open Day Success

Sunday's open day was a huge success with lots of visitors coming back to the station in North Beach Car Park.  We did wonder how many people actually went to Peveril Point thinking we are still there?

One visitor still thought we ran the look out at Peveril Point and we had to explain that was actually Coast Watch not COASTGUARD !

One of the points of the day was to invite some retried Coastguard's to look at some old photos and we didn't expect them to bring some more !  In fact hundreds more !

We will bring you some of the them over the next few months.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Still looking for the boat hook?

Brian still looking for the boat hook.......on the ferry.

If you see this man approach your boat......hide the boat hook.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ferry Exercise

Last night users of the Bournemouth - Swanage Ferry might have been surprised to see 19 Coastguard Rescue Officers suited, booted and wearing life jackets on board.

Coastguards from Swanage and Poole met on board and faced several medical type incidents in the confines of the ferry. Identifying the various areas on the ferry and confirming their classification under working regulations was the first task the teams faced. Certain areas are out of bounds for the Coastguard as there is a lack of air for example so in these incidents we would assist the fire service who would use specialist equipment we don't have.

So having identified enclosed spaces or restricted spaces the fun began evacuating dummies from several locations on board which was tricky using a stretcher in narrow corridors.

Events were slightly disrupted when the Swanage IRT were tasked to an incident at the pier but with many people on board there was enough to cover.

Part of the exercise was to allow others to take charge of an incident as part of their Officer in charge training which is an on going process in the teams.

Our very special thanks to the staff of the Ferry Company for allowing us to carry out this exercise. We think we had about 8 crossings so we will settle the bill next week!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Incident during ferry exercise

During tonight's ferry exercise, the team were tasked by Portland Coastguard to Swanage Pier after a report of a person in the water.  More on both the incident and exercise tomorrow, however the person in  the water is safe and well.

Behind the Scenes

Sorry about the lack of updates again - its not that there's nothing happening, its more a case of the team trying to fit in home and work commitments as well as CG ones!

We're busy getting ready for the Open Day this Sunday (11am -3pm at the Station, all welcome) and we have training tonight - a simulated major multi-agency incident. More tomorrow.

And most importantly, Sandie is undertaking perhaps the most difficult but important job of the year at the moment. Yup, she's sorting out the Christmas dinner again. Not hers - I expect that'll be turkey and trimmings before the Queen's speech and a snoozy film again - but the team dinner. Sandie has to juggle dates and venues and factor in places we're not allowed to go again (eg Dee tried to set fire to the place last year) and come up with a solution to keep everyone happy. Best of luck Sandie, and thanks for your help.

Monday, 8 October 2012

iPhone 999 Really?!

I'm glad I didn't get called to this job! When was this a triple 9 call?!

What he needs is the Swanage Coastguard patented iBag for iPhone.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dog over the cliff

Please remember to keep your dogs on a lead when out walking anywhere near a cliff edge. Even the most obedient and well trained dogs can ignore you when they are being playful and chasing rabbits or birds when out on a walk.

Remember if you do lose your dog, never attempt a rescue yourself - dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

7th October

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Flood Alert

Flood alert has been issued for the Purbeck rivers and streams.

School trip

I was out yesterday just meeting a few people and suddenly I was invited to join Pete and Dave from Divers Down out on the water.

Not their usual dive trip but taking a school group out on the water to show them some of the geology around the bay.

The weather was a little different in the morning to the afternoon.

An excellent trip for me to see the cliffs from a different view and also to give some teaching! ( of course the bonus was being out on the water)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Seal of approval

On tuesday the IRT were tasked to the sea front to a report of a seal which appeared ill. It's not the 1st time we have been called to check the welfare of a seal in fact a seal pup was born on the beach under the Grand hotel some years ago.

Having taken advice from the team at Durlston Country Park it was confirmed the seal was ok and just having a rest, in fact shortly after the seal popped back into the water and disappeared.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Getting ready for the open day

Sorry for the lack of blogs but everyone is busy this week either working or on holiday.

Today's  mission is to start getting the station ready for the open day next week.

The station will be open to the public on Sunday 14th October between 11am and 3pm
(subject to the weather and operational requirements)