Saturday, 31 October 2015

Do you know your waves?

With the beach work on going , we thought we would remind you of the different waves that can occur along our shores.

Whilst we might not recommend a swim at this time of year , the different waves will come up the beach in different ways and we don't want people knocked over or cut off.

Always check the tides and weather and if you see someone in trouble dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Just a reminder that at times heavy machinery is operating along the beach from Shore Road to the North End of the beach.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Team clear boat debris from Swanbrook

The team were tasked to assist the Environment Agency this week to clear part of a small boat from the Swanbrook.

Earlier in the day the team were made aware that this section of dinghy had washed up the brook on the high tide. With concern around the further hide tides and rain a request was made to secure or remove this.

The team deployed their water rescue equipment and soon recovered the section of boat for disposal.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Cliff work continues

Work has now started on the raised platform under the Pines Hotel.

This area can be cut off by the tide so care should be taken especially around the rocks that have been laid to construct the ramp.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Flood Alert Issued

A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for East Coast of Dorset.

Flooding is possible for Castletown, Weymouth, Preston Beach, Swanage Bay, Studland Bay, Sandbanks, Poole Harbour, Bournemouth Beach, Hengistbury Head and Christchurch Harbour Thursday morning.

Low lying coastal land and roads will be affected first.

Be prepared.

This Flood Alert effects the whole of the East Coast of Dorset particularly at Weymouth and Swanage and 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 Alert is in force is : 07:30 am on 29/10/2015.

The forecast wind direction is South South Westerly

The forecast wind strength is Force 7

Stay tuned to radio weather, news and travel bulletins on Heart Solent, BBC Radio Solent, Wave 105, Wessex FM and The Bay.

- Be prepared to protect yourself and your property.

- Keep your colleagues informed about the situation.

- Be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads.

- Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

- Farmers should consider moving livestock and equipment away from areas likely to flood.

- Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions. Visit the Environment Agency website for river level and flooding information.

- Call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 using quickdial 04532 for up-to-date flooding information.

Boats washed up on Studland beach

The team were called to these two boats on Monday on Studland beach.

At first it was a bit of a mystery how the two boats came to end up on Knoll beach, but thanks to Poole Harbour Commissioners the owner was located and confirmed safe.

Previously moored off Studland the slight change in the weather saw both boats end up on the beach. Recovery of both boats was to take place in the next few days.

Coastguards attended to ensure no one was in trouble, then to find the owners and then to ensure there were no pollution issues.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Stabilisation Work start

Walkers on Swanage Beach may have noticed some work started on the beach in the last few days.

This ramp is being built to allow access to the beach and allow stabilisation work under the Pines Hotel to start.

The Town Council have allowed contractors access on to the main beach to allow machinery access to carry out this important work.

There are more details on the Town Council website which gives the contact details of the contractors should the public have any questions or concerns.

A similar ramp will be built under the pines, today Coastguards visited the contractors to look at the site.

Machinery will be moving about during low tides and the public are being urged to observe the safety notices.

There will be occasions on certain tides that the beach will be cut off, please check the tide and stay off the ramps.

In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Monday, 26 October 2015


The view towards Goathorn during yesterday's patrol.

The patrol headed out yesterday to check the high risk areas ( areas known for previous incidents).

Whilst the above view was stunning , it reminded us of the dangers with the mud at low tide.

Never be tempted to take a short cut as you will soon get stuck, use well defined footpaths.

If you get in trouble or see someone in trouble dial 999 ask for Coastguard.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Keep your dogs on a lead

With a nice autumn day ahead of us, no doubt a few will be out walking - if your taking the dog please keep them on a lead near cliff edges.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Loggerhead Turtle spotted off Swanage

There are reports of Loggerhead turtles off Swanage with a request for the Marine Conservation Society asking them to be informed and not for the turtles to be returned to the water.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Stretcher Training

After we'd seen the video of stretchergate, we decided to step up our own training regime to avoid any similar mistakes, and on Sunday we ran our first session.
As a starter level stretcher carrying course, the team stayed on the flat, but soon we'll be progressing to steps and other hazards.

Eagle eyed readers will have only noticed the different coloured safety helmets, whereas the more inquisitive ones will have also wondered why.

Well, in the white helmet is Allan, our Senior Coastal Operations Officer (SCOO) from Poole,  He is paid for the privilege of looking after us, and as the senior officer, he wears a white helmet for instant recognition.

Ian and Kerry are wearing standard blue helmets, which are often fitted with a light for working in the dark.  If you are going to be at the front, its important to get your sunglasses out of your car when there's a shout, just in case there's a photo op.

Finally, the orange helmet is used to denote an untrained person, and on a cliff (rope) rescue, we use it for the casualty before bringing them back up the cliff.  When two or more teams work together, we don't always know who's who, and the orange reminds the rest of the team. In this case, Duncan was the trainee stretcher bearer, and will switch to a blue helmet when he is signed off.

So what's really happening.....?
Actually, this was part of the incident on Sunday.  We'd prepared the helicopter stretcher for the casualty, but in the event he was able to walk to the helicopter, so the team were simply returning the empty stretcher to the helo.
And the helmets?  Well, the white, blue, orange hierarchy still applies, but as in this case, the orange also gets used from time as a spare, when a coastguard finds himself at an incident without his own helmet!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Kayaker airlifted from Peveril Point.

The Coastguard team had been water rescue training this morning and were just washing the equipment when a call from the NMOC tasking them to Peveril Point.

A report had been taken from the volunteers in the NCI lookout at Peveril Point of a kayaker suffering a medical episode in Durlston Bay. NCI immediately contacted the Coastguard who paged the Swanage ILB crew and scrambled Coastguard Rescue 106 from Portland.

The Swanage Coastguard team were tasked both to the scene and also to set up a landing site at Peveril Point.

Coastguard Rescue 106 landed at Peveril Point whilst the crew of the Swanage RNLI ILB brought the male around to their slipway. Having been assessed by the helicopter paramedic the male was transferred to the landing site and to the waiting helicopter.

Coastguard Rescue 106 then flew the male to Poole where they were met by the Poole Coastguard team.

Brook Tea Rooms - Thanks!

Big thanks to Mike at Brook Tea Rooms for the hot coffees and bacon sarnies, following our water rescue training this morning.

Really kind of him, thanks Mike!

Water Rescue Training - Photos

This morning it was water rescue training......

An early start at the Coastguard Station for the volunteers - why anyone gives up their Sunday morning to jump in the sea in late October!?

Still at least we have drysuits.

Ready for action

Won't be smiling later.

Overseeing the action, our SCOO

Rugby World Cup training - also known as The Huddle.

Ok, that's far enough.

Team photo

Up the Creek Swan Brook

Kerry's turn at- Officer In Charge

He's behind you!

Tom on safety 

We were training right outside Brook Tea Rooms and Mike popped out to see if we'd like coffee. 

... suddenly bacon rolls appeared too!

Top man, thanks Mike, that was really generous and well received.

Rescuing Bacon Sarnies - Sponsored by .....

The Legend that is 'The Hudson'

Saturday, 17 October 2015

14 year old airlifted from Studland Beach

Dorset Police and South Western Ambulance requested Coastguard assistance at Knoll Beach Studland after a 14 year old male had been reported missing.

The male was located in the sand dunes  but found to have a dislocated knee along with possible neck and spinal injuries.

Due to the location, the injury and the temperature the Coastguard team requested a helicopter evacuation ,so the National Maritime Operations Centre tasked Rescue 106 from Portland.

With the help of the National Trust , a safe landing area was secured and the services all worked hard to ensure a speedy and safe evacuation.  Rescue 106 flew to the Poole landing site at Whitecliffe where they were met by Poole Coastguard.

All services left the beach just before 7pm

Friday, 16 October 2015

Mystery object found on beach

An off duty Chris walking on the beach spotted this yesterday.

(The rusty pipe not the can, the can is used for sizing)

Chris sent the National Maritime Operations Centre some photos of the object which they sent to the bomb disposal team.

Previous similar looking items have been old wartime defences , rusty pipes or typhoon fighter rockets used off Studland during the Second World War.

Thankfully the experts came back and confirmed the object was a piece of scaffold.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Water Rescue Training

This weekend the team will be training in water rescue, hopefully the sea will be a bit rough and cold! I say that as I'm watching this weekend rather than taking part!

It's a bit like coasteering in a sense.

To ensure safety, the team check the weather conditions and the tide times before training; and then check again on the local conditions before we get in the water. A safe place is found to access, and more importantly a safe place to exit bearing in mind the rise and fall of the tide.

If it's too rough we simply don't train - there's no point putting people at risk.

A full drysuit and buoyancy aid is worn along with a helmet and gloves - the same basic kit that would normally be used for Coasteering.

We ensure that there are spotters (known as surface cover) to watch over us, with throw lines, again basic Coasteering techniques.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Thank You - The Crows Nest Inn, Swanage.

A quick thank you to - The Crows Nest Inn, Swanage.

The Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams deployed for search operations at approximately 23:00 last night and searched through to 04:00 before standing down for some rest. The teams stood up again this morning to resume the search. 

At about 14:00 this afternoon the search teams were ready to return to station for a quick break and a decision was taken to provide lunch and refreshments to allow the search to continue.

Being a Sunday afternoon options were slightly limited so a team member popped over to The Crows Nest (For those readers not familiar with Swanage, our local pub) to see if they could assist with 25 or so hot meals. It was very short notice but we thought publican Sam Ogden might be able to assist. 

Sam was in the middle of serving up a Crows Nest Sunday Lunch and with a full restaurant he couldn't help directly. 

However - and I think this is a top drawer response - he offered money to buy the Coastguard Team's fish and chips from other premises in town. 

A very generous offer!  

A moment later we heard that the missing person was found safe and we could stand-down search operations. 

Whilst on this occasion we didn't take him up on his kind offer, the teams would like to thank Sam and his team at The Crows Nest Inn anyway.

The Crows Nest Inn

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Throwing Shapes

Coastguard Terry has a special Coastguard pose every time he's on a search or cliff rescue. We thought it was something that came naturally but now we've been sent some evidence that it's something he practices seriously. It's even better when it's his turn to wear the 'Frozen' dress, which is generally on Tuesday; watch this space.

Caption: Terry 'Throwing a Teapot'.

The Word Up is that he might make a Cameo later this week. 

*Posted on behalf of Occassional Blog.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Time for a Cuppa?

Kerry led our training this week - a session on vertical rescue, which, different from a cliff rescue, we might use for recovering a person fallen through a hole through a pier or in between rocks in rock armour.

In this scenario, Nick was the technician deployed on the rope, but I can't help thinking he's treating it all a bit casually.
Careful, don't spill it!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Silver Jubilee

Back in 1977, when I was a youngster I remember the celebrations for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.  I didn't really know what it was all about, but I do recall there was a street party in the road outside, my mum bought us a union jack T-shirt, and we had  day off school.

We had a Silver Jubilee of our own yesterday, and although no street parties or days off school (I think I still have the T-shirt) this silver jubilee was equally as important - certainly for our Station Officer, Ian Brown.

Yep, 25 years ago yesterday, a fresh faced young lad, knee high to a grass hopper but sky high with enthusiasm joined the team at Peveril Point as Swanage 196.  Now, as Station Officer and having overseen the move to our new Station at North Beach Car Park, he's still just as full of enthusiasm and just as dedicated although certainly no taller and not quite so fresh faced.

We'll have a look at some of the rescues Ian's been involved in in the coming days (when we can't think what else to write) but for the meantime we couldn't let the occasion slip by unnoticed.

So, from all your friends and colleagues, Congratulations Ian, and thanks for the hours of voluntary service that you have given to the people and town of Swanage.

Swanage 196 on patrol on his first day a long time ago

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Previously on the Coastguard Blog....Flares dumped at Coastguard Station.

I was talking to friend, following the blog on Tuesday, who asked why we don't take old flares and pyrotechnics at the Swanage Station - the simple answer is that we are not equipped to store them safely, and we are in a residential area. 

It reminded me of an incident that we reported 15 July 2012 when a bag of flares was left at the station door. We turned up to the station for training , found the bag, opened the bag, put it down very gently, and walked away very quickly. We had to evacuate the building for a short period while we formed a plan to dispose of them. 

Previous blog below:-

This is one of the flares that was dumped at the Coastguard station this week and caused an incident.
It's against the law to use flares in a non-emergency situation or dump them at sea. You also must not discard them irresponsibly - never:
  • put flares in carrier bags or drop them in general household rubbish or public litter bins
  • leave flares on the doorstep of coastguard rescue equipment stores, sector bases or Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat houses
  • dump them anywhere where members of the public could come across them
So based on the law above, "the offender" broke all 3 of the above points.  What is really worrying is the state of the flare, its either been close to a heat source or some sort of chemical - what ever it was it could have made it explode.

These flares WILL KILL if used incorrectly.

There are ways to dispose of time expired pyrotechnics correctly, clearly whoever left them couldn't be bothered , instead putting lives at risk by their actions.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Flare on the beach

The team were tasked this afternoon to a report of a flare washed up on the beach at Studland.

A pen is used as a 'gauge' to show the EOD Team the size of the item

A detailed check was carried out as the type of flare couldn't be identified.

Having liaised with an EOD Team the item was transported to the flare collection point at Poole which is at the RNLI college for the Dorset area.


'If you want to hand over time-expired pyrotechnics, like distress flares, for safe disposal you must contact your nearest centre to make an appointment.
RNLI Security Gatehouse
Corner of West Quay Road and Slip Way
BH15 1HZ
Telephone: 01202 336336

Open: Monday–Sunday; 1000–1130 and 1400–1600

Please note they only accept pyrotechnics from recreational water users and disposal is by appointment only so please phone in advance.

When you phone, please be ready to give details of the type, quantity, age and condition of your time-expired pyrotechnics.

It is an offence to dispose of flares at sea or in the general refuse, or to let flares off in a non-distress situation.' (Poole-RNLI)