Friday, 30 November 2012

Ticking Along

Although the blog has been a bit quiet this week, things are ticking along still behind the scenes.

Austen arrived back last Friday, and it took him only a few hours to get to the station to see what we've been up to in his absence.  I think he approved, so we must be doing something right.

Gareth has been running a DVD sale with the most eclectic mix of titles you can imagine - business has been slow to start with but the boss hopes to publicise the sale on this site soon.

We had kit night on Tuesday, our monthly check of all our equipment and a chance to drink tea and eat biscuits.  And Quality Street.  And Jaffa cakes. 

Some of the lifejackets have gone off for a service - they don't all go away together as that would leave us with, er, none to use!

Oooh, and its the Christmas Meal tomorrow night and the presentation of the Coastguard of the Year award.  Lets hope they don't run out of beer like they did two years ago.  Then again, for a restaurant to stock only six bottles of Peroni when you have a table for 20 booked is always a risky strategy.  Seriously, its true; ask Gareth - he had three, I had the others.

Beer? Don't mind if I do. Quick then before the rest arrive, or they'll all want one.....

Disclaimer: Other beers are available, although sadly on the night in question, they weren't.

Monday, 26 November 2012


Well lead by example, a clear picture of Slip watch.

With the heavy rain, water is pouring down this part of the cliff,

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Rockett - Duracell Bunny

When Austen Rockett said he'd come home to Britain to recharge his batteries...

....I didn't expect him to be literally recharging his batteries!

And before you ask, I don't know where you insert the batteries.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Slipwatch - A Wet Update

The boss is away this weekend, so I thought I'd continue the SlipWatch feature in his absence. (I'm told he's definitely not at a model railway exhibition).

The weather in Swanage today is hideous. Its blowing hard, with heavy driving rain and its just the sort of weather that's likely to unsettle the cliff.  The IRT has just undertaken a patrol of the local area to check on flooding and other risks, and quite frankly, it isn't the sort of weather to be out and about.

But, I know how much this feature is valued, and so donning full wet weather protection and braving the elements I wandered out along the beach to record the latest developments.  I'm pleased I did, what do you think?
You can see the concrete slab still in place above the left hut, but more mud has fallen down since last time.

Further rain is predicted throughout the night and into tomorrow.   If you are out and about please check local weather forecasts, tide times and flood warnings and stay safe.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Funny Smell

There's a funny smell in town...

...and no, it's not the 14m dead, decaying whale that Kimmeridge Coastguard were going to send down to us on the storm tide.

It's worse than that, far worse.  It means one thing.........

Rockett is back on Christmas Leave.

Looks like he's gone native!

And in case he asks there is defo no chocolate in the fridge at the station!

More bad weather

It's not getting better, further weather warnings issued.

Read here

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Whale of a time...

Nice to see on Facebook one of our local Coastie teams being so generous....

A smelly whale....looking forward to our Xmas pressie already!

Thanks Team  Kimmeridge!

Further Severe Weather Warning Issued.

Weather Warnings issued.

Further heavy rain and strong winds warnings have been issued for this evening. Unless your journey is necessary the advice is to put it off.

Stay out out of flood water, don't attempt to drive or walk through it, especially in the dark.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Flood Warning

Further flood warnings for rivers in the Purbeck areas tonight.

Care should be taken on the roads and you are advised to view the environment agency websites to see further updates.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Underwater Car

The IRT were called down to the Boat Park at around 11:00 this morning.

The owner had tried to launch his fishing boat only to find the car, the trailer and his good self in the water. The boat floated, needless to say the car and trailer did not. 

A couple of Swanage RNLI chaps did the honours; thanks chaps.

Now That's What I Call........a well stocked fridge

Holiday's are coming so Roger was tasked to restock the fridge.....plenty of healthily products.....other chocolate bars and drinks are available however they weren't 3 for 2 !

It'll probably last a while, well until Austen comes back on leave.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


Remember BBC's Saturday morning show, 'Swapshop' with Noel Edmonds?!

This afternoon I text messaged the Coastguard team to offer a cream leather armchair (good condition) and matching poofe. Free.

I then get a series of helpful and somewhat random messages sent back. I didn't realise I'd started a Swapshop!

Chris:- No, but do you have a tumble dryer?

Ian:- Yes but not the poofe.

Ian:- No actually just teasing but I want to get rid of a computer monitor and speakers. 

Brian:- Are we patrolling this afternoon or delivering furniture?

Ian:- If Chris takes the wife and kids I'll buy him the tumble dryer.

Brian:- I have a new phone which is 2 complicated.

Roger: I've filled the fridge full of chocolate and drinks - but the crisps are in the cupboard?!

So it appears that we have a armchair, computer monitor and speakers, three kids and a wife to give away. But we need a tumble dryer.

Meanwhile Brian has a new phone which he can't work, and there is a fridge full of chocolate.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Slip Watch - the Movie

Well not quite, but if you click the 'Bloggie' at the foot of this post (ie the word that says Slipwatch) you get all the Slipwatch posts all on the same page.

Then, starting at the earliest, scroll through them all and if you do it at the right speed it almost looks as though its a movie.   You  might have to squint a bit and use your imagination to get the desired effect.  A glass of wine might help too.

OK, so it doesn't seem remotely like a movie. Not even with popcorn and 3D surround sound.  But to be fair to the boss, the series of posts does make an interesting comparison, particularly between the photos of 15 March 2011 and 22 April 2011 when a large slab of concrete appeared.  Its still there today, hanging on, but for how long....?

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Slip Watch....back again for another season

Despite the mocking from the team, this set of photos has provided Dorset Council Council and others assistance to monitor the movement of the cliffs.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monday, 12 November 2012

Train Spotted

My Swanage Railway magazine arrived this morning.  Turn to page 26 and there's only a photo of the boss checking tickets.

tickets please!

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday.

There are services both in the morning and afternoon, the team will be joining ex service personnel, serving personnel and colleagues from all the services tomorrow afternoon at 2.30pm.

The parade will march to St Mary's church for a service at 3pm before heading to the war memorial after the service.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sandbanks Chain Ferry

The Bournemouth- Swanage Chain Ferry went off for its biannual service today.  It could be off for up to 4 or 5 weeks and of course this depends on the weather.

So with the ferry off......they have decided to dig up the Upton Bypass as well so motorists found this morning getting to work in the Bournemouth and Poole areas was somewhat troublesome.

See you in 5 weeks.  Photo: Julian Sawyer

Monday, 5 November 2012


No one can miss the amount of rain we are having at the moment and already local flooding is causing problems.

Flood warnings are in force across the south west and can be seen here

This was golf course at Prospect on Sunday.

The flood relief scheme in action

Remember flood water is dangerous, never drive or try to walk across flood water.

Stay clear from flood defences and never attempt to clear items from them yourself. If you see someone trapped call the emergency services. On the coast it's the Coastguard, inland it's the Fire Service.

Middle beach Studland

The National Trust at Studland have turned the old Coastguard lookout at Middle beach into a bit of history centre.

Starting with the early days of Coastguards battling with smugglers it brings you right up to to date with a photo of a good looking Coastguard team in action at Old Harry.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Going sailing?

Last week I asked Steve Lacey to come up with a blog around winter sailing.

Steve is actually one of the only team members who actually does any sailing or regular activities on the water.

So if you are thinking of sailing over the winter, take a few minutes to read this.

Winter Passage Making

Winter sailing or boating can be very rewarding, with the potential for relatively uncluttered waters and crisp, clear days. The time of year can also provide additional challenges.

Being competent, experienced and having a well found craft with which you are familiar and knowing the combined limitations of both the boat and crew are significant safety factors
Assessing the sea and weather conditions and producing a passage plan for the anticipated conditions can mitigate the level of risk. During winter, days are short and nights longer and colder. Wind chill can become significant at relatively low wind speeds. Clothing needs to be suitable for the conditions and endurance adjusted to the conditions.
Wearing a lifejacket, in the conditions prevailing in winter along the UK South Coast may not in itself sustain life beyond an hour, even one with a spray hood. An immersion or dry suit allied to a personal locating beacon, waterproof flares and a strobe light will give an enhanced probability of survival and a significantly increased chance of location and recovery.
Voyage Planning

SOLAS Regulation V/34 ‘Safe Navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations’, is a relatively new regulation. It concerns prior-planning for your boating trip, more commonly known as voyage or passage planning. Voyage planning is basically common sense. As a boat user, you should particularly take into account the following points when planning a boating trip:

• Weather: before you go boating, check the weather forecast and get regular updates if you are planning to be out for any length of time.

• Tides: check the tidal predictions for your trip and ensure that they fit with what you are planning to do. Consider the implications of wind over tide, especially at critical points such as headlands and narrow channels.

• Limitations of the vessel: consider whether your boat is up to the proposed trip and that you have sufficient safety equipment and stores with you and know how to operate them, including in the dark.

• Crew: take into account the experience and physical ability of your crew. Crews suffering from cold, tiredness and seasickness will not be able to do their job properly and could even result in an overburdened skipper.

• Navigational dangers: make sure you are familiar with any navigational dangers you may encounter during your boating trip. This generally means checking up to date charts (whether electronic or paper) and a current pilot book or almanac.

• Contingency plan: always have a contingency plan should anything go wrong. Before you go, consider bolt holes and places where you can take refuge should conditions deteriorate or if you suffer an incident or injury. Bear in mind that your GPS set is vulnerable and could fail at the most inconvenient time. It is sensible and good practice to make sure you are not over-reliant on your GPS set and that you can navigate yourself to safety without it should it fail you.

• Information ashore: make sure that someone ashore knows your plans and knows what to do should they become concerned for your well being. The Coastguard Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme (commonly known as CG66) is also free and easy to join. The scheme aims to help the Coastguard to help you quickly should you get into trouble while boating. It could save your life.

Seafaring is a risk activity of which the outcome can never be certain.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Further Whale update

Our colleagues down in Kimmeridge have got some super photos of the washed up whale.

Kimmeridge responders

Our friend Ian was sent to take a look last week when it was washed up.

He also wanted to remind readers of the health hazards and the fact the whale is a protected spices (even if it's deceased).

Exploding Whales - the latest

I did some internet 'research' about exploding whales following the Kimmeridge whale post yesterday. 

The first incident is from Taiwan, 2004, when a build up of gases inside a dead sperm whale caused it to explode in a city street whilst on the back of a truck on its way to a post mortem. The BBC report is here.

The second case I found is from 1970.  The 8 ton, 45 foot whale was found dead on a beach in Oregon and couldnt be moved nor buried.  So those crafty Americans packed it with explosives to destroy it on the scene.  Just to be sure, they put plenty of dynamite in.  I mean loads of the stuff.   Seriously, shed loads.
Sit back, and enjoy the next two and a half minutes as we learn how to dispose of a pesky whale.  Click here.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Whale Washed Up

The body of a 14m whale has been found washed up near Kimmeridge today.  Investigations are under way to find out exactly what type of whale it was and how it died.
Please keep a safe distance from the carcass as whales are known to carry transmittable diseases and do not get in the way of any recovery teams.

I also read once that whales can explode - seriously!  Apparently after death, bacteria gets to work eating the whale's innards and creating a gas as a by product.  As more and more gas is created, so the whale skin struggles to contain it until....POP, there she blows!  anyway, I don't suppose this will happen here, and it may be just an urban myth.  Feel free to comment if you know better.

BBC Report Click here


Rough seas this week between Dorset and the Channel Islands!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Saturday's Search

The BBC Website is reporting some sad news tonight following Saturday's search which involved several Coastguard teams and Lifeboat crews on both sides of the Solent.

As we said earlier in the week, if you're planning to go to sea (particularly on your own)
  • 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
And its never a bad idea to let the Coastguard know when you are leaving, where you are making for and your ETA.