Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Coastguard of The Year - Terry Edmunds

The 2014 Coastguard of the Year is Terry Edmunds.

Oh look at his happy little face.
A worthy winner of the 'Michael 'Spike' Williamson Award

The award is voted on by the team and given to the Coastguard who has gone the extra mile - in this case Terry has almost polished our truck to death this year; and he's carried on in good humour despite family illness and his house nearly falling down.

He's also been voted 'The clown that inflated a lifejacket in the back of the truck ...of the year' a new award for clowns that that pull the 'emergency only toggle' when sitting in the truck.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Mountain Biker Casualty - Godlingston Hill

Late this afternoon the Swanage Coastguard team were tasked to Godlingston Hill to assist South West Ambulance Trust who were attending a mountain biker who had fallen from his bike.

The area is well known to us having attended numerous mountain bike accidents, sadly this includes fatalities. The chap today came off relatively unscathered other than a broken bone. Much of the impact was taken by his helmet.

The hill is very steep and invites mountain bike riders who like a bit of downhill speed, to travel faster than perhaps they should. The track is particularly bumpy and should be avoided in cold icy conditions like today. On warmer days cyclists need to watch out for walkers.

Helicopter Rescue 106 was released to assist but given the light, weather conditions, slopes and power lines it was considered that an extraction using the Coastguard 4WD was a safer option.

Thanks to Ben Bowman at Godlingston Farm for pitching in - and fixing the gate.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

What NOT to do on your holidays

An off duty team member out for a walk yesterday with their family was shocked to see this person using the mile markers as a climbing frame.

Not that they should actually be on this piece of MOD property, they had no safety equipment and had a gust of wind blown them off they probably would have ended up in the ravine at Tilly Whim.

We like people enjoying the countryside , the views and the outdoors but please do not put yourself or others at risk.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Swanage Mobile on a Christmas Eve Patrol at Knoll Beach Studland

We would like to wish all our readers a very safe and merry Christmas.

A special thanks to the community of Swanage who support us throughout the years.

The team remains on call throughout the holiday period and along with all our emergency service colleagues will respond to incidents should they arise.

To help us help you .....if you go out for a walk , make sure you have the right footwear, right clothing , know the tides and check the weather.

In a emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 23 Dec

Poor old Gareth, he's waited all month for his pic with Ben and Ben's done a runner on him.  Probably because he didnt 'clap it up' at the end (its a TV term so I am told).

Ben....Ben.....Come back Ben.....Where are you?.....I want a selfie......

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 22 Dec

Nearly there now, and today its the turn of our paramedic Chris, who later described Ben as 'his new best friend'.  Ben apparently described Chris as 'who?'

Ben's starting to look like he's had just about enough of this advent calendar thing (I certainly have), so tomorrow we'll have one last starstruck photo and it's gonna be Gareth's turn with Ben....

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 20 Dec

Today, its the turn of our Sector Manager, or SCOO as he's now known, Allan.  Not content with photo bombing Terence Edmunds (aged 12)'s photo earlier in the calendar, he now wants a selfie of his own.

Ben's not sure about the flashy waistcoat.....

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 19 Dec

Just opened today's calendar, and here's Kerry.   But what else is she up to....?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Don't get stuck

The team is currently monitoring an area north of Sheps Hollow, at the north end of Swanage Bay.

Where the clay is washed onto the beach it is making the sand very soft in places and this could cause a risk to small children and dogs.

Also keep clear from the base of the cliffs , there is in places quite a lot of movement.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 17 Dec

The Advent Calendar is still going strong, and here's a special one....its only Ian, the boss.

Ben standing in a hole

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Large Fire at Belle Vue Farm

Dorset Fire and Rescue are currently dealing with a large fire at Belle Vue Farm (South Swanage).

Advice has just been issued to residents to keep windows closed.

New Keela HMCoastguard Kit

The August uniform orders have finally come through with our new 'active base layer' tops. 

To quote the manufacturer Keela:

'Keela's high performance active layers give superior wearer comfort during sporting activities at any level. Perfect for use on their own in warmer climates [Swanage] or as a base in a layering system in colder climates [Worth Matravers]' 

Keela Tech Fit 

So the Coastguard Team will be nice and toasty when we are out on the cliffs.

One slight downside is that they are a 'Tech Fit' which basically means that they are very tight; ...very tight indeed. Which is fine if you have a physique like me ;-).

Some members of the team will however look like shrink wrapped turkeys.

Bernard Mathews Tech Fit

Anyway Brain has volunteered to run a number of fitness sessions in the new year, entitled  'Podge Club'. 

The first rule about 'Podge Club' that we don't talk about 'Podge Club'.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Alcatraz Prison 1962 - Did they escape?

A fascinating article on the BBC about 3 men who in 1962 tried to escape from Alcatraz Prison – an Island off San Francisco. After digging through concrete with spoons they put to the water in a raft. They were never seen again! So did they make it to shore?

Alcatraz Escape simulation.Delft University and the research institute Deltares
Researchers used ‘virtual boats’ to map what may have happened when the 3 men went into the water. The findings differed dependent on the time they left the shore and whether they paddled or not. 

Bestcase scenario

The study was carried out be scientists at Delft University and the research institute Deltares, both in the Netherlands. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

First Bus - HMCoastguard

Following on from the tram blog the other day.....


First Bus promoted HMCoastguard on a fleet of their buses across the south west. First Bus'
Marc Reddy - Regional Commercial and Business Growth Directorfar left) just happens to be a Coastguard Rescue Officer for Southbourne Team in his spare time.

Add caption

When Marc's not working on the buses, or jumping over cliffs (with ropes on!) to rescue people, 

....he's eating sweets.

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 14 Dec

Who's keeping Ben company today?  It's Steve's turn!

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 12 Dec

Another day, another advent door.  And behind no 12, its.....Brian!

Brian holding his phone.  He actually got Ben to record a birthday greeting for his wife.....And then discovered he'd forgotten to start the video and hadn't recorded anything.  Sadly, Brian wasn't brave enough to ask Ben a second time and so Eve will never know what Ben had to say......

"Oh no....Where's it gone...?"

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Ben Fogle Advent Calendar - 10 Dec

When I was a kid, advent calendars featured a navity scene on the front and the only thing behind the little doors was a picture.  Usually a lantern, maybe some holly, an angel, occasionally the stable or a star.  These days, advent calendars feature Hello Kitty or Power Rangers on the front, they have no relation to Christmas and they have some foul tasting piece of  "chocolate" behind the door.  My 3-year old neice opened no. 1 the other day and immediately troughed the chocolate, so she started on no 2.  Numbers 3, 4 and 5 soon followed and she'd just about got to Christmas Eve when her mother found her!

This year, the Swanage Coastguard team have produced their own advent calendar, with Ben Fogle behind every door, invariably flanked by one of the team in their best 'I'm not starstruck' pose.

You may recall that Ben came and trained with us one evening in the summer and brought a film crew with him.  Bit of a waste of time bringing the film crew, because once the evening was over and all clapped up (a TV term I am led to believe), all of the material they shot ended up on the cutting room floor.

So instead of Ben Fogle's Harbour Lives, I give you the Ben Fogle Advent Calendar, and todays's starstruck star with stars in their eyes is.....Eric

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Blackpool HM Coastguard Tram

About 4 years ago we put a blog up about a tram in Blackpool that had been given a HM Coastguard livery. The other day .. ok ok in September a chap contacted us about it 

Blackpool - it's a bit like Paris.

Coastguard Oscar's Fast Action Rescue Tram

Great idea!

Meanwhile down here in Swanage we take a more sedate approach ...

The question is not so much what are these two doing in a Tuk Tuk, but rather is Austen Rockett defying the laws of physics.

This Tuk Tuk should be pulling a wheelie!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Volunteers who make a difference... Moyra Cross

Moyra Cross a pioneer of Swanage Railway which was rebuilt by volunteers over three decades has died aged 92. 

She volunteered her time and energy for our community for 40 years - very, very impressive.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Coastguard of the Year

The Michael 'Spike ' Williamson award, named in memory of one of our former inspirational colleagues, is for a team member who has just done that little extra - gone that extra mile - or as we often hear - takes one for the team.
Spike often did that and no one noticed as he was so quiet and then he was gone...

We generally present the award at Christmas, and as I'm already up to number 14 on my advent calendar (I open 2 windows at a time - a sort of double glazing!) it's time to count the votes from the team.

All 13 members get to cast a vote, which could mean we end up with a 13-way dead heat. Either way we should have the results shortly and will include them with a review of the year here (which is basically a chance to recycle some photos you'll have seen before...)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Slip watch - a warning.

Today's photos of the cliffs north of Sheps Hollow come with a strong warning that there is a risk of a big cliff fall and entrapment in mud.

Please take notice of  our warnings and observe tide times and the risks if you were to try and climb up the cliffs.

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for COASTGUARD

Monday, 1 December 2014

Terry - The Christmas Flasher

Following his brush with celebrity (ooooh look at his little face) ....

12 year old Terence Edmunds has asked Father Christmas if he can have a new Scalectrix set with a yellow VW Beetle that he can hoon* about with.

*To Hoon: To drive like the clappers in 2nd gear.

Anyway to make sure Father Christmas finds his house he has lit it up like a proverbial Christmas Tree. 

Terry is of the view that ‘more is less’, and that he just has to have more lights than any of the lifeboat crew – not that he wants them to know he’s in competition with them – that’s a secret.

In other unrelated Swanage news, there have been a series of power surges and outages across the town. The local electric company are now in town trying to ascertain the cause of the problem.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Flood Alert Issued

A flood alert has been issued for the Purbeck rivers and streams. Due to recent rainfall the current river level has risen to 1.095.

Further rainfall overnight of up to 8mm may cause levels to rise further

For further updates call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (Envirnoment Agency)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The blue barrel and the chemistry teacher...

The IRT where tasked yesterday morning to investigate a canister that had been washed up on the beach. The canister had clearly been in the sea for some time and was most probably full of seawater or possibly the original contents. Details of the markings were passed to the operations room, while Chris googled the name from his flash new phone (which is the size of a large hamster ... or if you're using old money - three mice stood end to end (excluding tails)). 

Drum roll...... it was a chemical used in water coolant systems. Harmful stuff if handled incorrectly.

It just happened ...and yes this did happen, that a passing chemistry teacher- nice chap ( who works with our very own teacher/coastguard Mr Hobbs) was able to tell us a bit more about the chemicals inside. How good is that! 

The local authority have been contacted and have arranged to remove the canister.

If you do find washed up items and you believe they are a risk to the public please do not touch them, phone the Coastguard on 999 and we'll deploy a team to investigate.

A Blue Barrel
A Chemistry Teacher ;-)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Its a Mystery

Its training night tonight, and with the boss away the DSO is in charge.
I wonder what he has in mind?
Our training could cover all sorts of things: mapping, rope rescue, search techniques, first aid, communications, water rescue, care of our equipment etc, and anything might be possible.

I've opened a book, and the odds on favourite is that tea and biscuits will feature somewhere.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Not Fade Away

I went for a walk along the beach the other day and noticed that the groyne numbers that we painted on 18 months ago were all starting to fade and wear off, and I immediately began to think of who in the team would be fair game for the repainting job.   I decided Terry, because he likes cleaning stuff and Kyle because he is tall and can do the high groynes that Terry can't reach.

On the walk back, I noticed that the numbers had already been repainted.  

 Now not even Terry's that quick is he?  No, he's not! So what's been happening?  Well, the faded sides are all south facing, so it could be that they are being faded by the sun.  Or, as our weather is predominantly South Westerly, maybe the wind and rain from that direction are to blame?  Or are the more intact sides more intact because they are painted under a large beam which offers a bit more protection? 

Answer is none of the above.  It turns out that the faded sides were all painted by the boss, who happens to be away at the moment and so cannot deny it.  The other sides were painted by the more artistic members of the team and the talent clearly shows through.  So, when you're back Ian, there's some painting wants doing.....

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Slip watch 2014

It's back and with the rain things are starting to move a bit

This is around the Sheps hollow area

Be aware of the tide - a real risk of being cut off at high tide.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Swanage Ukulele Group

I popped down town today to watch the Swanage Ukulele Group playing on Station Road for Children in Need. They were fabulous!

 ....well they were fabulous until Coastguard Nick did his solo.


Suddenly what was a masterclass in ukulele playing became a painful experience for the audience. It sounded like a cat had trapped its tail in a dishwasher. People started to pull faces like they were sucking lemons. Luckily for me I have lost my high frequency hearing as pointed out by the Doctor at a medical last week; at the time I was disappointed, but today it was a blessing.

Anyway, I offered to chuck in some money if Nick stopped playing solo.....and all was good.

Nick's son Adam was fantastic and stayed on for a hour busking by himself... He raised £47.07 for Children in Need. Well done Adam! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Cream Cakes

There is a rumour on station that the Station Officer likes cakes when he attends events.

Totally not true despite these latest photos from Andrew PM Wright......thanks Andrew

I was not looking at the cakes

It's an empty plate .....honest

They weren't for me .