Saturday, 28 June 2014

Big Menswear Van - An Apology

When writing this blog, we try to maintain a mix of interest, fun, safety features, accuracy and a bit of rivalry within the team, and most of the time we get the balance right.

However, I am aware that I posted a blog earlier in the week linking a van with some signwriting on the side with one of the team members.

On reflection, I'm afraid that particular entry was hurredly written on the spur of the moment, and published to the blog without proper thought or consideration of what I was writing.  It was unfair, unneccesary and fell below our usual standards - something for which I take full reponsibility.

So, I'd like to apologise.  To Big Menswear, to the team member concerned and to you the readers.  It's quite clearly a Seat Alhambra MPV (multi purpose vehicle) and not a van at all. Sorry for misleading you.

...not a van at all....!

Friday, 27 June 2014

All Lined Up

The rope rescue on Tuesday was hot work, but CG rules demand full PPE when we are at an incident - and rightly so.

However, once the job was over and the equipment dismantled, the MRU bonnet became a useful shelf for some bonnets of its own.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Coastguard Helicopter Medivac at Swanage Cricket Club

The Swanage Coastguard team were this evening tasked to assist south west ambulance with a casualty evacuation close to Swanage Cricket Club. A landing zone was secured to allow Rescue 106 to land and Medivac the casualty to hospital. Swanage Police also in attendance to assist.

Where's Roger...?

Following the recent dog rescue the team were sitting at a local cafe enjoying a cold drink and debriefing the job when this van drew up opposite.
We can only assume he was looking for Roger, but sadly we couldn't find him anywhere.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Dog Rescued at Swanage

This morning the team were tasked to the Downs in Swanage after "Ellie" fell down the cliffs about 30ft.

The team rigged the rope equipment up and sent a technician over the cliff to bring the dog back to safety.
Today we had a guest Technician in the shape of Phil Brolan who is the Station Officer of Southbourne Coastguard. Phil was working at the Swanage station when the call came in so with equipment and training the same now in the Coastguard, Phil joined in with no problems.

Once back on the top of the cliff a bowl of water and a hug from Phil saw the dog given back to her owners.

This is the 4th dog incident this year and whilst the weather remains hot and sunny please can we remind owners to keep their animals on a lead.

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Man of Many Hats

Coastguard Nick is thinking of taking up traffic control as part of CG duties.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Uruguay 1 - 0 Swanage Coastguard

Coastguard Chris wasn't around last Thursday or Saturday and he's off this this Tuesday evening at 17:00. 

Wonder what he's up to? 

It's odd because you never see him when Uruguay play football! 

Anyway, imagine my surprise this morning when I opened my digital packet of Panini Football Stickers and was confronted by Uruguayan Goalkeeper 'Fernando Muslera'. 

Coastguard Chris AKA 'Fernando'

Yes it appears Chris has been moonlighting as an international football star.

Oh, in case you are interested I've nearly finished the digital sticker album, just need to make a few more swaps. 

Fernando on patrol wth Swanage Coastguard

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Wrist Bands

Kids why not put one on mum and dad ? we know they get lost too.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Swanage Coastguard V England

The Station Officer caused a serious diplomatic incident tonight when it was suddenly discovered training was on the same night as England  playing football.

How was I meant to know that FIFA had set tonight's game on my training night ? Perhaps they should have checked?

Thankfully not all the team are football mad so the plan was to revisit the location of the incident on Monday night and see it in the daylight.

This was quite a location and well worth the return trip to map and photograph for future reference.

The team are now currently deciding on a name for this place based on its finder - our very own Roger.

Being a kind Station Officer the team were back just after kick off ......for those watching the match on catch up TV , England lost.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

HMCoastguard assist Dorset Police

Just after 12.00 Dorset Police requested assistance in the search for a missing male

The search concentrated on the Ballard Down area with HM Coastguard / Police search teams joined by the Swanage RNLI inshore Lifeboat.

The Coastguard used rope equipment to check the cliff edges whilst RNLI crews checked the shoreline under Ballard Down.

Sadly just after 1pm a body was located by the lifeboat crews on the shoreline.

The Coroner has been informed, our thoughts are with the family.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Search ends with rope rescue

The Initial Response Team were tasked on Monday evening at 8.30pm to assist South Western Ambulance at Durlston Castle.

On arrival the team found the paramedic vehicle but not the paramedic or casualty. A small hasty search was carried out to locate the pair described them being on a coastal footpath.

Thankfully the pair were located halfway down the Isle of Wight road and it was soon realised that some rope rescue equipment was needed to assist in getting the injured male back up the footpath.

Having got every one back up the slope the male was treated by the paramedics.

This Callout was the 1st where our new LED lighting was used and it showed its worth tonight hopefully the subject of a blog soon.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Our John

Regular readers will know our John has been on reduced duties for the last few years due to major surgery.

Well this week John popped back to Poole Hospital for a little retune. We are pleased to say John is now home and recovering with his family ( pictured below)

John has been part of the team for 33 years and remains a great inspiration to us all.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Birthday Girl

It someone's birthday today........she doesn't want to be identified so decided to look the other way when we took the photo.

So happy birthday Kerry .... As a lady we won't of course reveal your age, however we would point out that the summer Olympics was held in Munich in the year you were born.

Access All Areas?

Out on patrol today the IRT came across a new gate blocking the way.
Until it is resolved, we'll know not to rely on this route in an emergency.

Dinghy collides with Chain Ferry

A man, whose small boat collided with the Sandbanks chain ferry, had a lucky escape last night (Friday) after being thrown into the water, going under the ferry and surfacing on the other side.
Portland Coastguard received several 999 calls earlier reporting that a small grey inflatable dinghy had suffered engine failure whilst in the path of the ferry. The two occupants were unable to start the engine in time causing it to collide with the chain ferry. The two men were thrown into the water, one going under the ferry before surfacing the other side.
The chain ferry, 'Bramblebush Bay' plucked one of the men from its own path. The other man was rescued from the water by a passing yacht. Both Poole RNLI All Weather Lifeboat and Poole RNLI Inshore lifeboat were diverted from another job, so were able to get to the scene quickly with our colleagues from Poole Coastguard team. The lifeboat assisted by removing the dinghy after it had become trapped in the chains and took it ashore with one of the casualties, the other being on the ferry. Both men were wet but unharmed and soon departed carrying their deflated dinghy back to the car.
Maddy Davey, Portland Coastguard Watch Manager says:
"The two men were very unfortunate that their boat broke down where and when it did. In this kind of situation quick communications are key and so a handheld vhf radio, mini flares or a mobile phone in a waterproof bag would have proved invaluable in contacting the Coastguard and requesting immediate assistance."

Friday, 13 June 2014


How do you get 24 Coastguards, a sector manager, a press officer and a film crew out to Old Harry?

 ...and thanks to Eric for doing the shuttle runs in the truck.  Apparently he made £12 on tips!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Terence meets Ben

Here's a lovely photo of 12 year old Terence Edmunds meeting his hero TV Presenter Ben Fogle. 

Terence won a local car washing competition, and the first prize was to join the Coastguard Team for an evening up at Old Harry. Terence was ever so excited to meet Ben and explained that he liked Harry Potter, cleaning things and that his favourite music was Girls Aloud.

When he's older Terence wants to be a teacher '...because they work short hours and get lots of holidays.'

Aww ...... Look how excited he is. 
(Terence that is, Ben's not fussed ...he does this a lot)

Brian takes One for the Team

Within the team, there's always one prepared to go the extra mile, and on Tuesday night it was Brian.

When we took the camera man over the cliff we were concerned that his plimsolls weren't really the right footwear for the job, so without a moment's hesitation Brian asked what size he needed and promptly lent him his Size 9's.  What a Star!

Brian was later spotted sitting watching proceedings from the side and not pulling on the tugger to recover the cliff tech, muttering something about no boots.  What a slacker!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

An Evening at Old Harry

Three teams converged at Old Harry last night for one of the biggest training exercises we have done for a long time. 

We've not trained at Old Harry this year, so it was a chance to refresh our rope rescue techniques on some unfamiliar cliffs and to get used to working with different people.  Coastguard procedures, equipment and training are standard throughout the service and so in theory CROs (coastguard rescue officers) from one team ought to be able to drop seamlessly into another and understand the operation as though they were one of the main team.  And so it was proved, as we worked firstly with Kimmeridge in lowering one of their technicians over the cliff and then with St Albans who had set up their own rope rescue equipment adjacent to ours, giving the unusual sight for the cliff tech of another cliff tech halfway down the cliff alongside him.  Credit to all the teams for the way they were able to mix and match and work so efficiently.

Brian going over the edge. Nick and Steve acting as edge safety officers assist him

The extra long session allowed us to achieve a number of positives: We got cliff tech Brian over the cliff for a refresher and Nick too as he works towards his technician's ticket.   Kerry and Terry worked the lines at the cliff top as they work towards being signed off 'Operators' and Gareth had an extended spell as OIC, allocating roles and ensuring a smooth operation.  We also took a spare coastguard over the cliff with us on one of the descents - in real life, this second (untrained) person might be a paramedic or police negotiator who we'd take down and so it is always a good skill to practice.

 St Albans accompanied descent adjacent to us

Later on we were joined by an ITV film crew and our 'accompanied descent' skills were put to good use when we lowered the programme host on one set of equipment and the cameraman on the other.  With the distraction of a film crew and their interviews and other requirements, there's always the risk of losing concentration, but fair play to Ian and Gareth who ran a tight ship all night and kept the team focussed on the job in hand.

Lots of coastguards. 

No doubt there'll be more on the filming another time, either here or on our Facebook page, - search for Swanage Coastguard.

Friday, 6 June 2014

D Day - Swanage Coastguard joins veterans and families at Studland.

A few days ago a Swanage resident sent out a request for people to come together at Fort Henry Studland to mark a few minutes silence for those you took park in the Normandy landings 70 years ago.

Fort Henry has its connections to those landings as Studland was a test ground in early 1944.

Tonight about 50 people turned up along with veterans, British Legion members and local clergy.

A short service was held to remember all those who took part , especially those who gave their lives.

Nick, Duncan and I along with our families attended and represented HM Coastguard. I was asked to read a poem on behalf of a veteran who sadly was unable to get to this event, a very moving tribute.

Pictured above is Cliff Brown, a Swanage resident who is a Normandy Veteran. Speaking to Cliff some years ago , I discovered the role Cliff took on the 6th June 1944 finding himself trapped on Omaha beach.

His story is one reason we take time to remember those who took part in the events of 6th June 1944.

We Shall Remember them.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Look its someone else's birthday

Another birthday today for one of the team ..... More cake !!!

The good news there's another birthday in 12 days time !!

Happy Birthday Chris

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Search ends with person found safe

The team were called today at 13.25 to assist Dorset Police in a search for a missing male in the Durlston Country Park area.

Search teams deployed very quickly around the castle and lighthouse areas as it was over an hour since the person was last seen.
With the help of members of the public who kindly reported seeing the male running west towards St Albans Head the search teams moved rapidly westwards and the St Albans Coastguard team were tasked to assist.

A police helicopter joined the search whilst Police Officers searched key locations in the town and surrounding areas.

Just after 15.30 a Police Officer checking the main roads in Swanage spotted the male near to Victoria Avenue. The male was reunited with his family safe and well.

We would like to thank the public for their assistance in this search. A special thanks to a local coffee shop who kindly provided some pasties and cake for the team as many had missed lunch.