Thursday, 31 July 2014

Saddletank Books

Regular readers of this blog know that many of the Swanage Coastguard Team have a guilty pleasure...they love trains! Eric has a train set, Ian has a train set layout in a shed, Nick has a railway in his garden ...and Gareth has a garden railway in his loft.

And then there is Roger.  Roger hates steam trains, he really hates them, he likes diggers instead - he's a bit odd like that.

Anyway I was off Coastguard duty this morning so I popped down to the Swanage engine shed to let my little girl wave at random strangers on the train.  The rules are simple, she waves and people wave back - unless they are on the 11:20 when they all look miserable and don't wave.


At the engine shed we spotted a lady who was watercolour painting. I watched her paint out of the corner of my eye and it became quickly apparent that she was a very good artist indeed.  Within a couple of minutes the blue sky, trees, background of the engine shed had all been completed - and it was rather good. 

We had a chat with Pauline who explained she was artist who had started writing children's books about steam engines - Pauline Hazelwood - Saddletank Books

She had just been to the station shop to drop off an order of her books. There are two books in the series so far with a third due this autumn. The stories are engaging and based on the true history of an engine, and the illustration is delightful. 'Alice' is a real quarry Hunslet engine now based at Bala Lake Railway.

I think these books will be a bit hit!

Pauline showed us  a copy of 'Alice The Little Welsh Engine' which we promptly bought and she kindly wrote a little dedication for our little girl in the front cover.

Anyway, please have a look at Saddletank Books website the books are simply stunning, or pop along to the Facebook page for more information.


Brian's Big Sausage Night

Tonight we have a team fish and chip supper, a chance to get the families together on the beach and thank them for their support over the year. So this morning it was off to the shops to get the salt and vinegar and ketchup. Brian is organising and is in charge of 'fulfilment operations' i.e. he's picking up the food order!

Most people have gone for fish and chips or sausage and chips; others have ordered a variety of random fried items of varying sizes.

Every event needs a name but I'm not sure what we should call tonight ...'Family fish and chip night'...'Chips on the beach' ...Brian's' big sausage night'...

On the way back from the shop we popped over to the Swanage railway engine shed to let my little girl (18 months) wave at random strangers on a train. The 11:20 out of Swanage was full of a right miserable bunch and despite her mad two handed waving only the engine driver and one person waved back.

Anyway we met a very interesting lady called Pauline.....more later.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sunny day but don't dig too deep.

Another lovely day for the carnival and the beach was packed.

Yet again many of the team were about enjoying their holidays but still available for emergencies.

Swanage echo was spotted playing on the carnival stage with his little guitar known to most as a ukulele.

Swanage Alpha along with a beach warden had to give some advice to a beach user about digging a rather deep hole on the beach and the risk of their son being trapped.

Swanage Hotel was confined to barracks and not allowed out till he has cleaned the garden up.

Swanage Tango was doing the commentary for the Carnival sports events

Swanage Lima was Policing the Carnival.

Bravo, November, Kilo, Mike , Uniform and Juliet were all about but not caught.

In fact only Swanage Papa along with Lima were the only team members actually working.

Later on route to the Carnival Biathlon, the team heard of a swimmer that may have been in trouble at the entrance to Poole harbour. They proceeded to assist in the search but thankfully the swimmer was sighted safely ashore.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Swanage Carnival Swim

Tonight was the carnival swim and the team took the truck down to the quay to promote safety and provide a watch over the swimmers.

Sadly both Roger and I are on holiday so that prevented us entering the swim - Kerry forgot her swim wear so we had a cup of tea instead.

The RNLI inshore crew were on the water following the swimmer with well over a 100 swimmers.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Swanage Carnival

It was the Swanage Carnvial today - a busy day for the team as the potential for incidents is very high due to the numbers in the town. Thankfully only one 1st aid incident today.

As in previous years we were joined by our colleagues from St Albans Coastguard, we also borrowed the bosses car to assist in transport if required. Whilst it is fun to be in the procession the main reasons for taking part is to move around the town so we don't get stuck responding to incidents.

Loads of chances of photo bombing people taking photos of us!

Fiona, our local Police Inspector was spotted along with Sgt. Hickman keeping everything safe and moving - not sure she still hasn't got over her recent training session with us.

The route changed this year due to the sea front being closed - Eric found this difficult - which gear do I need?

Finally after a long day - back for a BBQ and repack the station.

What does he look like!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Coastguard team save child from falling out window.

Tonight was kit night at the station, with extra effort to prepare for Carnival week.

Everyone was working hard to ensure the equipment was clean and packed ready for Carnival week, when Terry noticed a small child in a nearby property standing on a 1st floor windowsill trying to open the window.

Suddenly the child managed to fully open the window. The risk of the child falling was unthinkable - the team literally leaped into action. Brian was assisted over the fence whilst Chris appeared to hurdle the fence and both raced over to catch the child if they fell.

Thankfully the sight of two Coastguards racing towards the house saw the child get down from the window as the parents raced out to see what all the shouting was about and were most grateful for the teams actions.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Coastguard and RNLI in joint exercise

Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams were joined in a training exercise at Anvil Point tonight by the Swanage RNLI crews.

With a few scenarios of climbers stuck or fallen the crews carried out the rescue and recovery of the climbers by sea.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Stuck in the mud at Studland.

Sunday's Patrol had a busy day after first dealing with a lady fallen on a pavement and then being tasked to Studland to a report of a walker stuck in the mud.

Working with the National Trust and Dorset Police who were dealing with another incident , the team searched for the male around the little sea area.

The Police located the male but the area was very muddy and without risking any further entrapments Rescue 106 assisted by lifting the male clear of the mud and back to the waiting Coastguards.

Our advice is always stick to the recognised paths.

Rescue 106 searching for the male stuck in the mud at Studland. Tom and a local Police Officer watch on from a safe distance.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Item washed up on beach.

The Initial Response Team were called to the beach close to the Mowlem after beach wardens discovered a possible piece of ordnance.

The object appeared to be a ammunition case caught up in the seaweed but having taken advice from the RAF it was confirmed as part of a packing case probably used in this weeks parachute jumps off Swanage.

If you see items marked with military markings never touch them, call the Coastguard and stay safe.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Weather Warning of heavy thundery torrential rain

An amber weather warning has been issued for a large part of the country including Dorset.

Heavy torrential rain along with hail and thunder is predicted over the next 24 hours.

Advice is to check the forecast and consider any activity which could be affected by the weather.

Keep out of flood water.

On Patrol

A contender for photo of the year from Kyle - Coastguard on patrol at Anvil Point.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


As regular readers know we are all volunteers and so we have normal 'day jobs'; mine is the exciting world of town planning. 

We'll anyway I was at a training course today 'up country' and one of the presentations was on Community Land Trusts - basically volunteers within the community get together to organise and build low cost homes in their community for the community. Great idea all around.

So I'm sitting there and the presenter provides an example of one such community land trust from down south - Worth Matravers - a small village to the west of Swanage.  Next thing I know there is a photo up on the projector showing the Worth Matravers Community Land Trust Members and I suddenly spot 'two ugly mugs' that I recognise. 

It's only St Alban's Coastguards John Bugler and Jon Evans. Not only do they volunteer for HMCoastguard but they also volunteer their time and energy to try and achieve housing for their community.

Round of applause all round for those two!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Community Safety Event

On Friday we attended King George's Car Park and the towns market to fly the flag and offer residents and visitors safety advice.

Friday, 11 July 2014

One for trains fans and jazz enthusiasts

This weekend sees 35 years of Swanage Railway and they are having a steam festival to mark the occasion.

A special visitor in the shape of Tornado will be on hand to transport visitors and for a fee you can even drive it !

Meanwhile the town is hosting the jazz festival this weekend so some could be really excited with jazz and steam trains.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Brave Police Inspector Joins Swanage Coastguard.

Inspector Fiona Gaffney , the Purbeck Section Commander joined the team tonight on an exercise at Old Harry.

As key partners the Coastguard and Police continue to train and tonight it was the Inspector's turn to join in.

Little did she know that she would actually be lowered to the base of the cliff!

All smiles at the top before the descent.

Not the easiest task to undertake but Nick slowly lowers himself and Fiona to the base of the cliff in a controlled assisted descent.

All safely made it back to the top of the cliff.

Then it was Allan and Roger's turn !

Old Harry - Cliff Training at Sunset.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Beach Safety

Every year the Coastguard , Police , Beach Wardens and Tourist Information Centre staff meet to review our working protocols ready for the main summer season.

One of today's topics was a familiarisation of defibrillator that is held at the Tourist Information Centre.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Busy Weekend - and a mention in the Echo!

The team was kept busy at the weekend with a couple of jobs for Tom and Nick on Saturday and a couple for Eric and Chris on Sunday - including one that also saw both Swanage lifeboats in Poole Harbour to attend to a suspected engine fire on a commercial passenger boat.

The Bournmouth Echo covered one of Saturday's jobs.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Time Expired Pyrotechnics

Tom and Nick had a trip over to Poole this afternoon to deliver an out of date flare that had been washed up on Studland Beach. The RNLI HQ is the designated collection point from where the MOD teams take pyrotechnics for controlled burning.

NEVER discard pyrotechnics over the side of your boat and do not pick one up if you find one. It is an offence to bring them to us at the Coastgaurd Station, so please do not do that either.

If you find ordnance or pyrotechnics on the beach please report them to the Coastguard and/or the Police using 999.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Eric - Your local tour guide.

Our Eric was in fine form yesterday assisting on the beach cordon on Shore Road.

Being local with loads of funny stories he kept the public calm when they realised they would have a long walk around the cordons, Eric engaged many into deep conversation on the situation.

Eric was explaining why they buried these devices in 1940 and what they would have been used for. This went well until he was introduced to a lady from Germany and had to change his story a little.

4 hours in and 50 people given a full guided tour of Swanage , Eric was finally escorted back to the truck to give the tourist a break.

Eric is available for after dinner speeches however it would be wise to book breakfast too.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Coastguard assist in beach closure.

Swanage Coastguard were called to assist the other emergency services on Shore Road Swanage.

Contractors working on the stabilisation project on Shore Road believed they had unearthed further phosphorous grenades similar to ones found several months ago.

A bomb disposal team were called to assist and give advice on checking the area.

Using a large mechanical digger a large area in front of the war memorial was dug and exposed with no further items found.

Swanage RNLI inshore lifeboat kindly launched to assist the emergency services maintain a seaward cordon, warning several vessels to keep clear of the beach.

We would like to thank the members of the public for their patience during this incident which inconvenienced many residents and beach goers. The closures were put on to ensure the safety of people as the gas that these grenades create can be very hazardous.

The cordons were lifted at 18.30