Friday, 31 January 2014

Don't take risks

Don't take risks is the advice being given out by HM Coastguard this weekend.

Heavy rain, high tides will again make coastal areas dangerous.

Old Photos - The New MRU

We have had a few old photographs on the blog recently, and this one came to light showing a very proud station officer with Swanage's brand new MRU (or CRV - Coastguard Rescue Vehicle - as I think they are called today). Not sure of the exact date, but belived to be sometime in the 1920s.

This combination served us well until the arrival of the current Nissan Navarra in 2004.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The answer was....

The answer to yesterday's quiz was ......John

Readers will know John has been poorly for a couple of years and currently isn't operational, but that doesn't stop him of course!

The Coastguard service has kindly allowed John to remain on the team whilst he recovers but he does come out for special events like remembrance.

He is also the Honorary President of our social group which allows him to come out for parties.

After 34 years service he remains an important part of the team, supporting team members at the station and at home.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

And this mystery team member grew up to be?

The team thought it funny to find an old photo of me.......

Well no team member is safe (things I have to do)

Answer tomorrow

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


With this heavy rain continuing, the ground is saturated causing some interesting cliff movements.

Let there be Light

We tested the new battery powered lighting at kit night tonight. Yup, it seems to work!

This will replace our existing set of 110v floodlights which require a petrol generator, which in turn makes them noisy and heavy. And they take an age to cool down afterwards - they'll take the prints off your fingers!

Monday, 27 January 2014

DSO caught napping

It has been 1st aid training this week and here is Gareth being used to demonstrate the recovery position.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sticky sand

Taken yesterday the start of some small mud slicks at North Swanage.

The sand was very soft under foot and we would advise to stay clear of mud.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Roughty Toughty Coastguards

Who would have thought that this young lad....

Nice Shirt

.....would become a roughly toughly Coastguard.

Brian looking dead hard

Friday, 24 January 2014

Swanage Coastguard Peveril Point 1951

The Coastguard lookout at Peveril Point dated around 1951. In front is a pillbox which was demolished in the 1980's

To the left is the gun emplacement which now supports the Coast Watch lookout.

The gale cone appears to be flown from the mast.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Washed up

We have had several reports of this buoy being washed up at the north end of the bay.

Its believed to be oceanographic buoy and the owners have been contacted in Canada who confirm its safe and contains nothing dangerous.

Sadly it's missing its important record number which could tell the owners where its come from.

Mean while the team were called out today to another strange item washed up at the end of the bay. At this time it would appear to be a large lump of lard however enquiries are continuing. These lumps have washed up in several areas in the south west and have made dogs ill so please bear in mind if walking on the beach.

Whilst not in this country a beach walker in Germany picked up what he thought was a yellow looking stone and put it in his pocket. This stone was in fact a piece of phosphorus and whilst in the gentleman's pocket caught fire and burnt him badly.

If you find something unusual on the beach please do contact the Coastguard. With these winter storms we have had many things come ashore.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A thank you

I must thank all of the Coastguard teams that attended my recovery from the cliff face on Saturday 18th January. My sincerest appreciation to you for my safe and swift recovery. Your concern and care for my wellbeing not only while I was on the cliff face but also once I was back on firm ground was fantastic.

Thank you the crew of Rescue Helicopter 106 and thanks to all of the voluntary Cliff Rescue Team who under the guidance of their team leader Ian Brown, instantly responded to the call out, giving up their own person time and commitments to come to my aid.

From the humbled and much embarrassed climber on the day.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Remember When...

....a group of schoolboys from Swanage Middle School did various activities in aid of the Mary Rose Trust?
If anyone recalls this event from approximately 1982, would they kindly put a picture in the local free weekly paper.
Preferably Page 17.
Top left if poss.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Don't get caught by the tide

There has been some small movement in the cliff at the north end if the bay.

There is a risk of walkers being cut off if there is a high tide.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Helicopter landing at Anvil Point

A few more photos from yesterday's incident.

Both Swanage and St Albans Coastguard Teams prepared for a rescue using their rope rescue equipment.

Rescue 106 from Portland lands at Anvil Point having safely picked the climber up.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Climber stuck at Anvil Point Swanage.

Just after 13.30, Portland Coastguard received a 999 call from the emergency phone at Anvil Point stating a climber was stuck at the base of the cliff.

Portland tasked the full Swanage Coastguard team, Rescue 106 from Portland and the St Albans Coastguard to support the possible rope operation.

On arrival at Anvil Point the Swanage team established the location and started to set up their equipment. Rescue 106 arrived and assessed the situation. With the Coastguard Rescue teams on standby the winch man was lowered and secured the climber.

Rescue 106 (The keen eyed will see this is Romeo Delta using the callsign, not Whiskey Bravo)

Having safely recovered the climber to the aircraft the Coastguard set up a landing site to allow the helicopter to land. The climber was dropped off and checked over by the team, before being taken to the Coastguard station to warm up.

Helicopters - know your chopper.

This blog is for a member of the team...

This is a fan... 

It spins around and goes 'whirr'.

This is not a fan - it is the helicopter's tail rotor

It spins around and goes 'whop whop whop'.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Guess who is 192 years old.

No not Eric !

HM Coastguard celebrated 192 years of Service yesterday, and with those number of years there is quite a bit of history.

The station in Swanage was a little later in starting arriving in 1842.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Boulder Ruckle a warning to climbers

Storm damage to local sea cliffs.

It has been bought to our attention of a recent significant rockfall in the Marmolata area of the Boulder Ruckle.

A substantial sized boulder has fallen, affecting a climb called Tatra. The climb was graded at VS, but with most of the first pitch now no longer there, it has been up graded to an E1. The 'caravan sized' boulder that has come away may of also affected the start of the climbs either side of Tatra.

Climbers - it would pay to be very cautious around all coastal sea cliff this coming year, and assume there will be damage in other areas as a result of the recent big storms.
Please make sure you have the relevant experience and skill level to attempt any climbs on the more adventurous sea cliffs we have in our area. Where possible, leave your abseil rope in place as a possible means of retreat. Check local knowledge, and UKclimbing is also good for information.

Though if you do find yourself in difficulty raise the alarm and ask for the Coastguard. Please could we also ask, if you find any other local climbs have changed due to storm damage, to keep us informed, or let Durlston Country Park know of the changes. (and post the information on one of the climbing forums)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Cliff Movement

Another view of the movement of concrete up at the north end of the bay.

The Coastguard is working with the local councils monitoring the situation. There are plans to remove this concrete but not at the moment due to is not being stable.

Our advice is to keep off the concrete.

We have also had reports of a large rock fall near to Anvil Point, we will be investigating that as soon as we can.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Team

The Swanage Team, well almost - sadly Tom was on holiday and Kyle was on duty.

Austen on leave from overseas duties returned and collected his valedictory certificate.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Team Called to Durlston

This afternoons patrol were tasked to Durlston to search for two young females.

A member of the public had been approached by the pair and asked for directions to Durdle Door. Concerned for the pair, their clothing and the distance the call was made to Dorset Police who passed it to the Coastguard.

The team searched the immediate area but could not locate the pair, no one has been reported missing so the search has been suspended pending any further information.

Rather muddy up at Durlston we are told.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

90 plus years service.

Last weekend saw the presentation of a 20 year long service medal to Steve Lacey.

So in height order - left to right.

Mark Rodaway OBE, Rescue Coordination Centre Manager Portland

Ian Brown Station Officer Swanage

Steve Lacey who has also received a military long service medal.

John Bentham who has completed 30 years service.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Washed up treasure

During the recent storms, various items have been washed up or discovered on beaches around the country.

From a rare dinosaur fossil to unexploded ordnance the coast has been giving up its history and in some cases dangerous past. The BBC reported these items so far.

Certain items washed up MUST be reported to the Coastguard and the Receiver of Wreck

If you are not sure what you have found, don't touch - dial 999 and ask for Coastguard. Recently items have been dug up taken home and the finder have second thoughts and caused the emergency services to evacuate homes.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Cliff update

North Beach Swanage yesterday, advice on land slides and cliff falls can be found on the Dorset For You website.

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the COASTGUARD.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Heavy rain

Picture kindly sent in by Jackie Lane showing the steps at Sheps Hollow during recent heavy rain.


Readers may remember Roger assisted the Police the other day in moving a tree.

Well whilst the team were checking for flooding the other day they found a large pine tree blocking the road where it had been dumped.

Clearly not having "Rogers Rope" we were stumped moving it.

A light hearted moment in a busy week

Coastguard patrols will continue to check key areas of the town for flooding and land slips.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Monday, 6 January 2014

Land slip area monitored

With water levels rising and stormy conditions, Coastguard patrols are monitoring the cliffs which suffered from major slips last year.

The risk of being cut off by the tide remains high.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Storm damage

The results of the high tides and large waves on Saturday.

Further heavy seas are expected on Monday.

Out of Dates

We were asked recently on our Facebook page if we had any Coastguard Calendars available for 2014, but sadly this annual publication hasn't been produced since 2010.

If you're still looking for a 2014 calendar, our lifeboat friends have a Swanage RNLI one available in their shop in the town centre (to raise funds for their new boathouse) and I believe there's a generic one too featuring 'Lifeboats in Action', shot all round the coast.

If it's local scenes of Purbeck you're after on your calendar then you could do worse than spend a tenner on one of these.

Finally, if you're after a really cheap calendar, free in fact, the local council provide a basic one every year with the recycling bins.   They helpfully highlight wheely-bin collection days and green box days too, saves you the trouble.

So there you are - no Coastguard Calendar in 2014, but a plethora of others to suit all pockets and tastes.

Saturday, 4 January 2014


These photos have just been sent to us by Lifeboat man Andy Lyons of a person on the clock tower jetty this morning.

Sorry to keep on about the safety issues of this bad weather but colleagues around the country have been called out to people in difficulty having been hit by waves.

A person is still missing in Devon believed to have sadly been swept away.

If you see someone in trouble dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Casualty of the storm

The large tree to the rear of the station had to be cut down before it fell on neighbouring properties.

Thanks to the Town Council for sorting the tree out.

Swanage Coastguard assist Police in Search

Swanage Coastguard Rescue Officers were tasked last night to assist Police in a search for a male missing from a local nursing home.

Due to the weather there was concerns for the male and the team quickly got on scene to start searching along with the Police helicopter.

Having been missing for about an hour the man was located safe and well near to Seymer Road.

Friday, 3 January 2014

High Water Swanage

High water this morning at Swanage around 10am.

Coastguard Officers checked the main areas of the town but thankfully with the bay facing east, the town was slightly protected.

Most of the beach was covered in water and we again ask that people stay safely back during the high tides.

The team will be out again later tonight to monitor the situation again.

Stay away from the Coast

It not everyday we ask people to stay away from the coast but today (Friday 4th) we are asking people to take notice of the warnings and keep clear.

Devon and Cornwall Police along with HM Coastguard have issued this warning but its just as important in Dorset.

Sea breaking over the Lower High Street in Swanage on Wednesday night.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Environment Agency Flood Alert for Swanage

Flood Alert
Environment Agency Flood Alert for Swanage

Flood is possible. Be prepared

There are three different levels of flood warnings.

Stay away from stormy seas.

The BBC is reporting that the body of a young man who was washed into the sea in Cornwall has been found; very sad.

Last night the Swanage Coastguard Team voluntarily deployed to maintain a watch at high tide; the weather combined with a high spring tide meant that waves were overtopping the quay.

On route the team spotted a pair of teenage girls on the promenade pointing at the sea; it became apparent that their friend was standing down on the beach alongside the sea wall dodging waves. Strong words of advice were given; whilst these were politely heeded I’m not sure the girl actually knew how much danger she was in. It would take one wave to knock her off her feet, and with the heavy coat and boots she was wearing she would have absolutely no chance. She would have drowned in a matter of minutes.

Please enjoy the power of the sea from a distance.

Roger to the Rescue

Our very own Roger gets Swanage reopened yesterday with the Police. A fallen tree temporary closed the A351 and with the local authority staff pushed to the limit a request to Roger " have you got a rope" saw the situation quickly resolved.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Large Search around Poole Harbour

Poole, St Albans and Kimmeridge Coastguard teams have been assisting Dorset Police with a search of the northern side of Poole Harbour today.

The missing lady from the Upton area has been missing since the early hours of the morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police on 101 quoting incident 325

Exploding Duck!

Looks like that floating Rubber Duck got a puncture again!