We had a concern recently that our kit wasn't as visible at night as it should be, so at kit night last night we decided to conduct a controlled scientific experiment.
Under laboratory conditions, we reduced the ambient light to zero (ie turned the lights off) and using an electronic image capture device (the camera-phone on a Blackberry Curve 9360) we took the following photo. The results have been sent away for analysis, but early indications are that the reflective strips on the kit seem to do their job quite well. The reflective stripes on our overalls and safety helmets have also reacted and so has the reflective sign writing on our vehicle.
In other news, we have been given some new kit including this snazzy 'Officer In Charge' tabard featuring a variety of colours, unlike the all-over fluorescent yellow design which was SO last year. And guess what.....it reflects too.
Hmmmm......I wonder if ordering a Large was a mistake.....
Taking items from the beach and not declaring them , could see you break the law. In some cases you could create an offence actually removing the item from the beach - basically someone still owns that item and taking it could be seen as theft.
After the success of Coastguard Alpha's sandbag wall the other evening that saved the town from disaster, other coastguards in the team are having a go at shoring up the sea defences in preparation for any future storms.
Having a geologist in the team is rather helpful at the moment.
So I decided to ask Mr Hobbs , known to many under between the ages of 12 to 18 as "Sir" to explain some whats been uncovered up at the north of the bay.
Geology of the Area
Following the recent storms, a lot of new rock exposures have been uncovered, so here is a rough guide to what Geology we have on the coast north of Swanage Bay.
Swanage Bay is a sandy bay facing east. In the southern part there are low cliffs and banks of Upper Purbeck limestone and shale, these are largely built over and so are not exposed.
To the north there are excellent cliff sections of Wealden strata.
These are the cliffs of soft yellowish and brownish sands and clay with a Coarse Quartz Grit. Lignite and plant debris is common (dark grey/black matter) and dinosaur remains are found occasionally in these Cretaceous fluvial (River) sediments.
Gault clay and Upper Greensand follow as you walk further to the North. Beyond this, where the Purbeck Hills reach the sea is the major Chalk exposure of Ballard Cliff, beneath Ballard Down.
Next to the ravine at Sheps Hollow is a nice exposure of Plenus Marl (Marl is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and silt. This particular Marl looks Blue due to a high percentage of the minerals Glauconite and Chlorite. They are part of the Chalk sequences that make up Ballard down and do contain Chalk / Flint nodules. This Marl would have been deposited in Lacustrine (Lake) conditions.
At the base of Ballard down, the chalk is very fossiliferous and contains various forms of Micraster (Sea Urchin Fossils)
As always, a note of caution, although the Geology is superb in this area, care must be taken.
Landslips are now a very common feature of this part of Swanage and you should also be aware of tide times so you do not get into difficulty.
Purbeck Police posted this picture of Middle Beach yesterday showing the storm damage.
At Swanage the sea wall has been damaged.
With the sun out this morning, we ask people to take care and observe safety signs and closure signs. The signs are there for a reason - during Friday we saw several people ignore closures putting themselves and the emergency services at risk.
A major incident was called by partner agencies last night in Dorset.
Rain, strong winds and high seas were forecast putting property and life at risk in places.
The local District Council requested assistance in the Lower High Street to put sandbags out to stop the sea which breached the stone quay flooding properties.
Assisted by the Town Council a small sandbagged wall was made which deflected any small waves away from properties.
We also apologise to motorist who were caught up in a traffic jam. The signage to close the road was meant to be brought by a County Council team but due to pressures elsewhere and trees down at Harmans Cross they were delayed in arriving.
The team also had to give strong advice to members of the public especially some younger ones who were putting themselves at huge risk on the sea front as the waves smashed over the sea wall.
Conditions along Shore Road were yet again very unusual with waves coming over the wall and flooding the road. Police requested the barriers closed to prevent vehicles driving on stones.
The sea wall has been broken in several places.
This morning an assessment will be made before the roads and pavements opened.
Looking north towards Ballard, not much beach left. A lot of debris washed up, including various beach huts damaged in the week.
Large waves saw several surfers in the water along with some jet skis. Several surfers were also seen in Durlston bay where the waves and conditions were much worse. Whilst visiting the NCI lookout a gust of wind recorded force 10 on the weather gauge.
Finally at Durlston waves were hitting the cliff face causing the spray to clear the top of the cliff over 120ft above.
A Flood Warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for Swanage Bay .
Flooding is expected for The High Street, The Square, The Parade and The Mowlem tomorrow .
Immediate action required.
The following Flood Warning will remain in force for two hours following the time of high tide.
The time and date of the forecast high water for which this Flood Warning is in force is: 12:00 pm (Local time) on 05/02/2014.
The forecast wind direction is South South West and the forecast wind strength is Force 9.
Very strong winds and high waves are expected along the Dorset coast overnight and on Wednesday morning. The public are advised to stay away from sea fronts and beaches as conditions represent a significant risk to life. Cliffs are also likely to be unstable following the storm conditions.
Stay tuned to radio weather, news and travel bulletins on Heart Solent, BBC Radio Solent and Wave 105.
- Act now to protect yourself and your property.
- Avoid beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads.
- Keep your colleagues and customers informed of the situation.
- If it's safe to do so, block doors with flood boards or sandbags and cover airbricks and other ventilation holes.
- If it's safe, move stock and valuable items to a safe place.
- Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.
- Turn off gas, electricity and water if your property is about to flood. Never touch an electrical switch if you are standing in water.
Our friends at the RNLI are raising a few bob today by cleaning cars. And selling bacon sandwiches by the looks of it.
King Georges car park is the place to be, and they'll be there most of the day, so if you get it washed this morning and then it gets dirty again, you can have a second go this afternoon!