Saturday, 31 December 2016

Thank you to our community

Yesterday's incident at Anvil Point was a good example of the type of incident the team have dealt with in 2016.

We shall review the year in the next few days , but as the year comes to a close this would be a good time to say thank you.

Whilst officially there is a team of 12 Coastguard Rescue Officers , the whole team just doesn't operate without the families and friends of those volunteers.

You cannot sum up in words the support that goes on in the back ground when those pagers go off. The dinners that go cold or yet again that shopping trip gets postponed.

As volunteers we have to thank our employers who release us from work and in today's financial climate, that's hard.

Our colleagues from St Albans , kimmeridge , Poole and Southbourne who support us on larger type incidents.

The coxswain and crew of the Swanage Lifeboat along with the crew of Poole Lifeboat.

Colleagues from the other emergency services especially the Neighbourhood Policing Team from Swanage who seem to be there as the kettle goes on.

But as with our families , if it wasn't for our community of Swanage we couldn't do what we do.

Like on the night of a large search in the team the staff of the local coop provided us with milk to make hot drinks for all the searchers, - that's our community and a massive thank you to you all that have helped up provide a search and rescue capability in the area in 2016.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Coastguard called to Anvil Point

The volunteer Coastguard team were paged just after 1pm to a walker on the coastal path near to Anvil Point.

An 81 year old male had slipped and injured his ankle while walking with a group.

The team arrived and provided initial first aid but with heavy fog and damp ground conditions the casualty needed to be moved to a point where an ambulance could safely get too.

The male was carefully moved on to the Coastguard stretcher and carried the quarter of a mile to the ambulance.

The team returned to station just after 3pm

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Monday, 26 December 2016

The 3 Wise Men ?

With the weather set fair ( in the South) Boxing Day is a traditional day for a walk.

Be wise and take the correct clothing.

Stay to the paths

Take note of routes closed due to land slips

Keep dogs on leads near cliff edges.

In an emergency call 999 and ask for Coastguard , never attempt a rescue yourself.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Dinner goes on hold

Christmas dinners went on hold this afternoon when the volunteer Coastguard team were paged by the National Maritime Operations Centre.

A member of the public had reported concern for a member of the public walking along Studland beach.

The team arrived at Knoll Beach and carried out a hasty search of the beach and shoreline. Joined by Dorset Police Officers the car parks were also checked without any further sightings.

The team continued to search and were joined by the Police Helicopter which checked further into the dune area.

With no further information or sightings the team were stood down and returned home after 2 hours.

A post incident team photo on Christmas Day , some wearing non Coastguard headwear.

Merry Christmas

Wishing all our readers a very Merry ( Safe ) Christmas

#999 Team

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Take a minute

In our busy lives we often forget to take a minute and think about those you are working or on call over Christmas.

Over 3000 Volunteers Coastguard Rescue Officers will be on call throughout Christmas along with colleagues in the National Maritime Operations Centre and helicopter bases.

We join others from the Police, Ambulance , Fire and colleagues from other voluntary services like the RNLI to ensure the UK is looked after during the festival period if needed.

#always on call

Friday, 23 December 2016

Heading out today ?

If you are travelling today or perhaps taking a walk , take care the weather is changing.

Storm Barbara is heading to the UK and winds will pick up. Whilst those in the north will see the strongest winds , here in the south will still see gale force winds.

If you are taking a walk make sure you are dressed correctly and have suitable footwear.

Keep away from breaking seas

In a Coastal or Maritime emergency 999 Coastguard

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Kit night and mince pies

It may be Christmas but still the kit has to be checked ready for use.

Some decided to look on whilst others worked hard.

Sadly someone forgot the mince pies.


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thank you

Like the station Christmas tree , the Station Officer needed some assistance and treatment on Saturday.

On the way to work I was taken ill but managed to get home.
Sadly with no ambulance available Nick the deputy station officer literally came to the rescue and got me to Poole hospital.

For once being a casualty was very different and I would like to thank
Nick , the staff of Poole Hospital and all those who have sent their best wishes. ( Nick Im also sorry for the non christmas language in the back of the car ! )

I shall have to take it steady for a while but hope to be back fully operational soon.

At least I managed to enjoy my birthday ! ( thank you Mr Corben)

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Winter sun set

Durlston Bay ,

In a coastal or maritime emergency dial 999 - Coastguard

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Christmas Quiz

It was time for the annual Christmas quiz this week at the station.

Team members were instructed to wear either a Christmas hat or jumper.

Terry won by dressing as an elf.

Whilst it may look fun the team were asked 50 questions on the foundation skills of the Coastguard , the very core of what we do in the team.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

First Aid at Kimmeridge

This week the Kimmeridge Coastguard team participated in their first aid assessment.

Some team work to assess, treat and transport the casualty.

Then a scenario in a tight spot , try removing a casualty with a spinal injury from a space with little access.

Well done to all for a good nights training and assessment.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Glorious Swanage

Another glorious day in Swanage today; it could be April or May rather than December!

Its a great opportunity to get in some scenic walks along coast path or along the ridges.

Have a great day,  but be prepared for slippery paths and a sudden temperature drop when the sun goes down.  Stay safe.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Someone to talk too.

We know that sometimes life is difficult and it seems there isn't anyone to talk too

This time of year for some is really difficult, you may know someone who needs support ?

The Samaritans are there 24/7 to support those in the communities who need someone to talk too.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunny Studland

Plenty of folks enjoying the unseasonably warm weather at Studland today, along with a group of kayakers about to return to Poole.

Just because the weather feels good, it doesn't mean it'll stay that way. Don't be caught out - check tides and weather forecasts and pack the right gear.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Check your kit, know your climb, stay safe

After Wednesdays incident we would like to offer some advice with the approaching holidays coming.
Ensure the activity is within your capabilities , check and double check you are where you think you are if you are using a guide.

Check with local people if you are unsure.

Take the right safety equipment

Have a back up plan ..... What if plan !

Ensure people know where you are and if you aren't back at an agreed time call the Coastguard.

We want people to enjoy the area for the right reasons.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Walker Injured on Coast Path

At 2pm yesterday,  the volunteers of Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams were back in action,  just 12 hours after closing down the previous cliff rescue.

On this occasion a young lady had slipped awkwardly on the SW Coast Path between the Western Mile Markers and Dancing Ledge; in doing so she had injured her ankle badly and was unable to walk.

Accessing via the tracks near Verney Farm, the teams stabilised the lady, monitored her condition and kept her warm.  With no ambulance available, the responders from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue brought in pain relief and the Coastguard helicopter was summoned to evacuate the casualty. However, on arrival the mist had descended so low that the helicopter was unable to land and had to return to base.

We always have a 'Plan B' to cover all eventualities, and with light rapidly diminishing and temperatures falling, the lady was soon conveyed by 4x4 (many thanks to the National Trust for your help) back to the Farm where an ambulance was by now standing by to take over her care.

Another good example of multi - agency working and being responsive to a changing situation. We wish the lady a speedy recovery.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

5 climbers rescued from Guillemot ledge

Five climbers have been rescued safe and well from cliffs near Swanage in a four hour rescue.

HM Coastguard were alerted to the five and requested the launch of both Swanage RNLI lifeboats and Coastguard rescue teams from Swanage and St Albans.

The five climbers were stuck on the base of the cliffs at Guillemot Ledge which is east of Dancing Ledge.

Sea conditions were rough but the crew of the RNLI inshore lifeboat managed to get ashore and confirmed the climbers were OK. Due to the sea conditions it was considered safer to recover the climbers using the Coastguard teams.

The location is a difficult cliff area but two Coastguard Rescue Officers descended the cliffs and started the technically demanding rescue , recovering one climber at a time.

Each climber was checked out as they were recovered to the top of the cliff before the Coastguard took them back to their vehicles having offered some safety advice.

All rescue units have now returned to their stations.

Our thanks as ever to all those involved in tonight's rescue.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Another from the history files

Another photo from our files, we thing this at Old Harry.

The equipment and protective clothing may have changed a little over the years ?

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A little fresh on the front

For those just venturing or thinking about it .......

A nice strong fresh ( cold) easterly blowing this morning

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Studland Beach

Not quite today , but we regularly patrol the beaches to ensure things haven't washed up.

Coastal or Maritime Emergency 999 Coastguard

Friday, 2 December 2016

Training at Night

Not all our incidents come during daylight hours, so neither is our training.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Helicopter Stats

This chart shows where the UK's search & rescue helicopters were deployed in the period July - September 2016, and you can see several dots in the Swanage area.

In all, we worked alongside the Coastguard helicopter 8 times in that period, plus a ninth occasion supporting the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

In October and November we were in action with the helicopter a further four times. Mostly, we get to see Rescue 106 flying from Portland, but we also work with Rescue 104 from Lee on Solent on occasions

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Teams called to Old Harry

Two volunteer Coastguard teams and two volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews were tasked to Old Harry this afternoon.

The Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams along with both RNLI lifeboats were requested to search for a missing male.

Despite searching for over two hours, nothing was located.
The rescue units have been stood down pending any further information.

Monday, 28 November 2016

One from a few years ago

A scene from the past at an open day on Sandpit Field.

Bill Wilson and the late Graham Baume display the equipment to the public.

The days of winches on the front of a Landrover .....

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Very Sad News

The team were very shocked to hear the very sad news that Derek Loveless from Studland passed away this week.

Derek was very well known in the village and worked for the National Trust.

The team worked on many incidents with Derek over the years on the beach and no incident or situation was a problem for him.

He helped us on several occasions when we got stuck on the beach.

He will be sadly missed by us all in the Coastguard and our thoughts are with his family , friends and the community of Studland.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Team tasked to person in water

The teams pagers were activated this afternoon along with the towns RNLI inshore lifeboat.

A 999 call reported a person in the water off the old pier.

On arrival the person who had been sailing in a small dinghy had managed to get ashore having suffered a dismast on the sailing dinghy.

With everyone safe the team returned to their station.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Rope Training

One of our main disciplines in the Coastguard Rescue Service is rope rescue.

Being volunteers we sometimes find a couple of hours to keep our skills up to date and run through the basics.

Keeping up to date is vital and although in doors it's a safe ( and warm!!) environment to practise.

999 Coastguard

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mapping the patch

Get lost !

That's what the patrol were told at the weekend and off they went.

Off over Godlingston Heath mapping the access routes and gates

Getting out to check the route is safe

Will valuable information recorded they found their way home safely.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Storm v tide

This is 4 hours after high water today and there seems little change in the level of the sea

The parade awash with an angry sea.

Our advice is to keep clear of dumping seas near sea walls.

Maritime or Coastal Emergency - 999 Coastguard

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Further Stormy Weather on the way

A period of further heavy rain with possible large waves could hit the south coast over night and into tomorrow.

The Coastguard patrol was out during day light hours checking the damage and giving safety advice.

Large waves can throw large rocks and stone debris inshore so coastal users should take care.
A Yellow weather warning is in place for Monday for heavy rain but unlike last night, the weather will arrive during daylight hours

Going round in circles

The team were tasked on Saturday to a report or a possible dinghy in trouble in Swanage Bay.

The call reported a dinghy or fishing boat with 8 people going round in circles at the northern end of the bay.

On arrival and working the watch keepers at NCI Peveril Point , the bay was checked.

The only people who had been out on the water were the local rowing club and they were now safely ashore.

A visual search was carried out but nothing further was found.

Coastal or Maritime Emergency ? 999 Coastguard

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Weather Warning

Whilst the weather so far this year has been stable , tonight probably sees the first "big" low pressure whizzing up the channel.

With this low pressure system, comes strong winds and heavy rain so if you are thinking of heading out today, think about the clothing and activity you are doing.

Check the forecast , the tides and ensure if you are heading out on an activity some one knows where you are going.

In a coastal emergency , 999 Coastguard

Friday, 18 November 2016

Familiar Signs

A few years ago, HM Coastguard undertook a project to install location markers with grid references throughout the full 630-mile length of the South West Coast Path between Minehead and Studland.

The plaques were installed by the local teams and we did several in our patch, stretching from some at Durlston Country Park right the way through to the end of the path at Shell Bay (or the beginning, depending on which way you are going!)

Whilst on holiday in Cornwall last week, one of the team spotted some of the familiar signs in place near St Agnes.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Lifeboat on trials

The new Swanage Lifeboat carrying out slipway trials this week.  With a very low tide , the crew were testing their new slipway.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Muddy tales

A few more photos from the mud training at the weekend.  The above photo shows the equipment following the training.
Dry practise "pepper potting" or using the stretchers to cross the mud, if only the equipment stayed this clean. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Seeing Double

Over the last couple of months , some may have spotted that we had two vehicles temporary on the station which greatly assisted in the  transportation  of team members to incidents
 A rare sight of two vehicles on a station not seen since the day's of two Landrovers on the old station at Peveril Point in the 1970's

Theses vehicles are the workhorses of the voluntary teams around the county for patrols and incidents 

 Normally stations only have one vehicle and use private vehicles to get incidents when called out.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Register your equipment

A personal location beacon

This emergency beacon was washed up on Swanage beach a few back and handed into Swanage Police.  They did some research to trace the owner , including contacting the Coastguard but sadly it was found to be unregistered.

The whole point of one of these devices is that if activated, the Coastguard know who is in trouble.

Thankfully some detective work with the manufacturer finally located a grateful owner.

Always register your safety equipment  

Team achieve Mud Status

HM Coastguard are the coordinators of all civilian maritime search and rescue around the UK, in other words if someone needs rescuing around the coast and out to sea , its the Coastguard who control the various rescue assets.

One of those "assets" or declared facilities are the Coastguards own Volunteer Teams who depending on where they are in the country are trained in various disciplines.

Those disciplines are Rope, Search, Water Rescue and Mud and each of those disciplines have different levels , awareness, operator, technician.

Dry Practise using a mud stretcher

Swanage has been a Rope, Search and Water Rescue team , with a mixture of skill levels.  Yesterday four of the team qualified as mud technicians.
The equipment (both stretchers) towed out to a person trapped

The mud rescue equipment is currently based in Poole , so anyone travelling along the holes bay road on Saturday will have seen us parked up on exercise.

Mud is a very different rescue skill and extremely physical - try walking with two small children attached to your legs for 4 hours and that should give you an idea of what working in mud is like.

Mud can also be quite toxic.  Please don't try this at home, the rescuers wear dry suits, Floatation Jackets, gloves  and "Mudders" special foot wear.

After the various training exercises just getting back ashore caused a problem , look at the mud !!
Don't try this at home , The rescuers wear special footwear to stop them sinking.
Once the tide came in , it was back to the station for 2.5 hours of cleaning ! Again safety to ensure that mud isn't ingested
Some more of the team will be assessed in a couple of weeks which will increase the teams capability