Sunday, 31 August 2014

End of August and a little flurry of incidents.

Having had a few quite days in August including the normally busy bank holiday it was back to business .....

Friday evening and Nick's birthday BBQ - Initial Response Team (IRT) tasked to check the welfare of a yacht somewhere between Peveril Point and Anvil Point. Despite a good search for the reported yacht nothing was sighted and with no further reports it was back to the BBQ.

Saturday morning and the IRT were tasked to the North end of the beach after a small motor boat with a young male on board declared a Mayday as he was having problems with his boat. Met by the team and confirmed safe a local boat owner offered to escort him back to Studland however halfway round it was considered unsafe so the IRT who were monitoring the progress of the trip met him again. This time the boat was put on a mooring and arrangements were made for it to be collected later.

Sunday morning just after midnight the IRT were tasked to the boat park after a small white dinghy was found adrift. Concerned someone had fallen overboard the small tender (sadly with no markings on it) was brought ashore and a shore line search was conducted. There were no oars or equipment in the dinghy so it was presumed it had come adrift but the checks were still made with nothing further found.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Drone used in search exercise.

Last night the team were on exercise at Anvil Point to carry out a search for two missing people.

Before we started we were treated to a display of a drone fitted with a live camera to scan areas quicker than a search team. There has been some negative media on this devices based about the intrusion of people's private lives however used correctly within the law and safety requirements we soon discovered what an excellent tool this could be.

Whilst it doesn't replace ground searching - areas were checked really quickly .

Live pictures can be monitored and search teams can be quickly directed to objects to be checked.

May be in the future these may be a vital piece of rescue equipment ?

The Sector Manager giving it a test run

Roger decided he now wants one for Christmas.

Thanks for Jon and Sarah for giving up their evening and showing the potential of one of these devices.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Raft race

This week, it's Lifeboat week in Swanage and tonight it was the raft race.

Our very own beach wardens took to the water and displayed some excellent seamanship on route to the Isle of Wight before being directed to the stone quay.

Well done chaps - someone had to come last

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Don't get blown away

Several incidents this week involving small inflatables and a strong off shore winds

If you are heading to the beach make sure you know which way the wind is blowing and only use the inflatable close inshore.

If children are using them always ensure an adult in very close and it's held on a rope to ensure it can not drift off.

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard - never try and rescue any craft drifting out.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Chief Petty Officer Ernest Pitcher VC DSM Médaille Militaire Croix de Guerre Ernest Herbert Pitcher VC, DSM (31 December 1888 – 10 February 1946)

Today, team members were the guests of the Royal Marine Association of Poole at a commemorative service in Swanage.

Chief Petty Officer Ernest Pitcher was awarded a Victoria Cross for action in the 1st World War.

Pitcher was born Dec 31 1888(9) at Mullion, Cornwall and he joined the Royal Navy at age 15. He was one of the earliest recruits for the Q-ship program spearheaded by Commander Gordon Campbell VC. The Q-ships were specially-outfitted and armed merchant ships designed to present easy targets to U-boats. When a U-boat surfaced, the Q-ship dropped the camouflage hiding its armament and opened fire. As one of a handful of regular Royal Navy men in ships largely manned by former merchant seamen and reservists Pitcher was one of Campbell’s most effective hands, being Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Victoria Cross, all within a six-month period.
Pitcher earned his VC for action aboard the Q-Ship HMS Dunraven in the Bay of Biscay on 8 August 1917. Petty Officer Pitcher was serving as the crew chief for the Dunraven’s single four-inch gun when it was attacked by the U-boat UC-71. A shell from the U-boat’s deck gun struck the Dunraven’s poop deck where the four-inch gun was disguised by a fake hatch and phony laundry hanging out to dry. The shell set off one of the Dunraven’s concealed depth charges, and while thick smoke obscured the hidden gun crew’s view ports and fire threatened to set off powder and shells in the magazine below the poop, Pitcher and his crew maintained their stations, not wanting to give the game away. But before The Dunraven had a chance to spring its trap, another shell from the UC-71 made a direct hit on the poop deck and blew it sky-high. Despite the devastation, the gun crew survived. Pitcher cartwheeled through the air and landed near the engine-room, sustaining wounds in several places. The shell had set off The Dunraven’s alarm buzzers, and one of the remaining 12-pounder guns had gotten off a couple of shots before the U-boat submerged. Campbell could have cut his losses and headed for home, but he chose to stand and make a fight of it. Unfortunately, in the ensuing battle the Dunraven came off second-best. The UC-71 made its escape after having made a direct hit with one of its torpedoes, and the Dunraven sank 36 hours later. The award of the V.C. was made to Pitcher as a representative of the four-inch gun crew, the rest of whom received Conspicuous Gallantry Medals.
After the war Pitcher remained in the Navy, retiring in 1927 after twenty-five years service. Between the wars he worked in a boys school as a PT instructor, wood shop teacher and groundskeeper and also operated an “off-license” (package store). He re-joined the Navy for World War II, serving at a number of home islands stations. He passed away at the Royal Naval Auxiliary Hospital, Sherborne, Dorset on 10 Feb 1946.
His medals, including the French Croix de Guerre and Médaille Militaire, are now owned by Lord Ashcroft and are on display in the Imperial War Museum, London. In November 1920, Ernest Pitcher, together with a group of other VC and GC holders formed a Guard of Honour when the Unknown Warrior was interned in Westminster Abbey and also at the dedication of the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

Safety Advice at the Beer Festival.

After Saturday nights incident the Initial Response team picked up an extra team member and headed to Studland to monitor the Beer Festival.

It was very busy with the majority enjoying themselves.

We headed to the beach area to see several people trying to get back on their boats but sadly they had forgotten one very important piece of equipment.

Whilst probably not too fashionable in the beer tent , one of these will save your life if you fall out of a boat.

So oddly having driven up the Ferry road very slowly to avoid over 100 cyclists trying to catch the last ferry it was another piece of safety equipment which was lacking that saw the team have to provide some first aid.

Yes a simple set of bike lights .......had the cyclist we saw ride off the road up a bank and flip over into the road, he may have seen the road went slightly to the right.

Having got up complaining there were no street lights in Studland we yet again provided some simple safety advice of how to Stay safe in the Purbeck area and suggested he ride with some other people to ensure he noticed the road in front of him.

( the photos are for demonstration only , there are many types of life jackets and bike lights)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Dead Man's Switch - Kill Cord

The Swanage Coastguard team was tasked this morning to an incident involving a speedboat.  Assistance was provided by both Swanage Lifeboats.

Having spoken to the person involved it became very clear that he had acted with the very best intentions to rescue a child, and in the haste to effect a rescue accidentally forgot to attach the kill cord.

So what is a kill cord?

Kill Cord with inserts for different outboard makes.

Basically a key that is attached by a lanyard to the boat handler's wrist. If the chap falls overboard the key pulls out and the engine cuts out. The boat stops and they get back into the boat. A simple bit of kit, easily fitted.

Kill Cord fitted to throttle

So what might happen if you don't have one? Well people fall over board and the boat engine continues to run.....

Scenario 1: the boat circles making an increasing circle until it runs out of fuel. The end result in an open sea - a long lonely wait until you are picked up or drown.

Scenario 2: the boat circles making a decreasing circle until it hits you. The end result is people going through the engine's propeller.

A Kill Cord costs £6.00

Further Advice.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A stormy weekend

A warning from a partner agency this afternoon - please take care and avoid activities where you put yourself and others at risk.

Stay Safe

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Carnvial Fireworks and Dorset Police new Light Sabres

Well finally Saturday night saw the final fireworks and the end of the Carnvial.

All week there have been large crowds and some excellent entertainment.

The Swanage Safer Neighbourhood team modelling the new Police Light Sabre issued specially for tonight.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Helicopters are Rubbish!

Well rubbish becomes a helicopter, really.

As you'll know, its been Swanage Regatta and Carnival all week, and there really has been something for everyone.

The team has been kept busy as usual, but most of us have found time to enjoy some of the carnival events and competitions including Brian who took part in the under-10's beach-combing competition. This involved finding stuff on the beach and making something with it. Aided by daughter Nell, who actually did most of the work, Brian made a model of the Coastguard helicopter out of a smarties tube, ice cream cone, drinks bottle, chip forks and some bottle tops and managed to win 1st place, so well done to him and even more well done to Nell for all her hard work. It really does look good.

Speaking afterwards, an elated Brian said "I think what really made the difference was finding a complete roll of red PVC electrical tape on the beach. What a stroke of good fortune."

Friday, 1 August 2014

Swanage Carnival and the Coastguard team

So Carnival week continued ......and the team continued to be involved.

The Dog Show , Eric commentating - (he hasn't stopped talking all week ) and Roger along with the Mayor judging the competitors.

Wednesday night saw beating the retreat, another chance to put the uniforms on and get a photo with our great friend Clifford.

Eric again with a pint of apple juice showing his respect to his senior officer !

Thursday night - a night off so with the families we took over the beach and had a fish and chip supper.