Sunday, 31 July 2016

Carnival Day ......

Well that's the carnival procession over for another year , with thousands attending.

Thankfully nothing major happened this year which has in the past seen the team miss the event.

The Swanage Coastguard team were joined by the St Albans team for the annual drive / walk around town.

In the back ground , one jet ski was offered some words of advice about the 5 Knot speed limit.

2 lost children were reported but found within minutes.

One collapsed lady was reported to Paramedics during the procession.

One small vessel has been reported to both the Coastguard and Poole Harbour Control for possibly being drunk in charge of a boat.

And for some reason a small yellow 3 wheeled motor car followed the vehicles in the procession , but more on this tomorrow.

Emergency Services Breakfast

Police , Ambulance and Coastguard meet for the annual Carnvial Breakfast briefing at the World Famous SeaGull Cafe

Pirates and Carnival Day

The pirate festival enters it's last day today which is also Carnvial procession day.

Yesterday saw a couple of minor incidents for the patrol , assistance given to the ranger patrol at Studland and then went to investigate a fire on the Downs.

On arrival on the Downs a local resident was found to be having a bonfire , however someone had already called the Fire Service who arrived to investigate.

Back to the events of today......09.00 the emergency services briefing aka the annual carnival breakfast , update to follow.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Carnival is coming

Its that time of year again ........Carnival time !

But first there's  groups of Pirates in town.....

The volunteers Coastguard Rescue Officers will be on hand to repel any attacks !

Mean while there was a lot of polishing the other night to get the vehicles ready for Sunday.

Under the watchful eyes of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team

Helicopter, 999 calls and two climbers

Yesterday the crew of 104 from Lee on Solent popped over to collect some equipment that was used on the last climbing incident.

Always good practise to bring the aircraft in.

Later in the day the team were tasked to the emergency phone at Anvil Point after a call was taken but no one spoke.

The team checked the area but no one made themselves known.

As the team arrived back on station the pagers went again with a report of two climbers at Anvil Point. Oddly the team had seen them on the previous incident and they later confirmed the 1st 999 call was nothing to do with them at that time.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Double Cliff Rescue at Anvil Point

The volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers from Swanage and St Albans teams were tasked this afternoon to Anvil Point.

Two climbers, ,one aged 15 were in need of rescuing from the base of the cliff having got tired.
The male had climbed up to use the emergency phone at Anvil Point before returning to keep the female company until the Coastguard arrived.

The Volunteer RNLI inshore lifeboat joined the rescue effort to provide safety cover.

The teams set up the rope equipment and sent the cliff technician down and brought the 15 year old female up first, before returning for the male climber who was with her.

Neither climber needed any medical treatment.

All rescue teams were released at 18.30

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The neighbours have left

We have had some special people on the car park this week - a film crew.

They have been using the car park as a base - some top stars including some chap called Harry Styles !

Then we woke up this morning and they were all gone

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Our front window

Last week the MCA posted this view of the pilots of a Coastguard helicopter ......well there was a challenge to match

This is our version following the incident on Sunday ,

Man Dies in Sea in Bournemouth

BBC News reports some sad news from along the coast.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cold Water shock kills

The Coastguard have brought a new hard hitting video out to warn of the dangers of cold water especially when mixed with alcohol.

Cliff (Rope Rescue) Training

The team were up bright and early yesterday for some cliff training - or more correctly 'rope rescue' training on the Downs.

First jobs: get everybody there, get the kit there and unloaded

Kerry was the first cliff technician to 'go over'.....

...followed by Nick who never misses a good photo opportunity...
...followed by Brian who took the dog bag in order to recover an imaginary Rottweiler.  He brought back some rocks instead.
Recovery of the techs was by 'tugger', a block and tackle device with a nominal 5:1 gearing (remember your 'O' level physics!)
Ian ran the session - well, he did have his smart uniform on! We'll make sure he goes over next time.

The cliff face was very loose and crumbly at the bottom.....
....with evidence of a recent cliff fall.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Is this the way to Bournemouth ?

The team have been called this afternoon to a report of two males walking along the base of Ballard towards Old Harry Rocks.

A local fishing boat called the report into the Coastguard concerned they were putting themselves in danger.

The team headed off and soon found visibility was low. The fishing boat reported the two had since turned around and were heading back to Sheps Hollow.

The team met the pair who confirmed they had hoped to walk back along the shore to Bournemouth.

Some directions and safety advice was offered including tides and checking a safe route home.

Diving Pains

The team have been dealing with a young diver today after he experienced severe head pains after surfacing.

Having just ordered a round of teas at the Seagull cafe following an early morning cliff training session, the team noticed the young lad in considerable difficulty across the road by the water's edge.

The dive instructor was already calling for an ambulance so, conversing  through the National Maritime Operations Centre  (NMOC), the team liaised with the duty doctor at the decompression chamber in Poole, exchanging details of the pains and symptoms for medical advice.  

Based on the depth of the dive, it was felt that a painful squeeze related to difficulties with equalising was probably to blame rather than anything related to decompression. When the ambulance arrived, the team handed over to paramedics who, after a thorough check over took the boy, who had by now calmed down considerably, to Poole hospital as a precaution.

Before the ambulance left, the team checked the welfare of both the boy's father and the diving instructor and once satisfied, stood down and returned to the cafe for a well deserved cup of tea.

#always on call

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Don't jump into the unknown

With the warm weather the sea , rivers and waterways become popular too cool off.

Please don't take risks and jump off piers , bridges and jetties.

You don't know what's below the water.

Secret Assignment

Away from front line Coastguarding, some of the team were called upon last night to help out with a secret assignment.

The assignment was so secret that the team, consisting of Ian, Nick, Brian, Terry and agent Eric (who drove the truck) had to sign non disclosure agreements prior to the tasking, which was carried out under the cover of darkness.

Seriously, they did, so we cannot say any more, except that it was a bit of fun and that we made it clear before the special assignment that we'd have to run if the pagers went off.  Fortunately they didn't!  #always on call. # drinking tea

Friday, 22 July 2016

Be aware , crumbling cliffs

A check of the cliffs at Durlston this week found a few cliff falls , some quite large.

With the warm weather , things are drying out , cracks appear and the cliffs break away.

Along the Dorset Coast there have been several reports of cliff falls , be aware and keep away from the edge.

999 Coastguard

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Search for missing male

The volunteer Coastguard team were tasked just before 6pm this evening to search for a missing 81 year old in the town.

Having been with his family there were concerns for the male so the family called the Police and Coastguard to assist.

The RNLI lifeguards and inshore lifeboat also were involved searching the shore line.

Coastguard Rescue Officers deployed quickly and carried out a 'hasty' search of the search front and the gentleman's holiday address.
A hasty search is a rapid search plan covering roads and open spaces quickly before a more defined and detailed search is carried out.

After a few minutes Dorset Police confirmed the male was safe and had managed to get home.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Rhino

You may have read during this weeks cliff incident the teams were assisted by Dorset Police who brought their Rhino.

Well just in case you were wondering what Swanage Neighbourhood Policing Team had secretly hidden.......

A rather handy handy 4 x 4 buggy rather useful for this area for transporting Police Officers to scene and our equipment.

A lot of the Purbeck patch is difficult to get to in a traditional police vehicle and it's often important to have Police attend incidents to assist.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Take a Break

We had a comment to a recent blog noting that it's easy to forget we are all volunteers.

Whilst that's probably true, we don't do it for the recognition, although it is nice to be appreciated and your kind comments are noted.  This also goes for the support we get from local businesses and organisations.

After a search for a missing swimmer at the weekend, the beach café at Middle Beach kindly provided us with refreshments before we headed off on our next task.  The café at Middle Beach has always looked after us and we really do value your support.  Thank you.

Take a Break - courtesy of a well known beach café at Middle Beach, Studland!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Climber airlifted after 40ft fall

The Swanage Coastguard team along with colleagues from The St Albans Coastguard team were tasked this afternoon at 3.30 to a report of a climber fallen from cliffs.

The area the climber was climbing was Cattle Troughs which is between Anvil Point and the Western Mile Markers.

The climber had fallen approximately 40ft receiving head and leg injuries.

Both Swanage RNLI lifeboats launched and put crewman ashore whilst the Coastguard teams set up to put a technician over the cliff.

Due to the injuries the rescue helicopter from Lee on Solent was requested to airlift the climber.

Rescue 104 airlifted the female to Southampton hospital , Swanage Lifeboat took one of the party back to the Lifeboat House whilst the Coastguard team brought a second climber back up the cliff.

All under the watchful eye of the Officer in charge, Dorset Police assisted at the scene with their off road 4 x 4 Rhino which assisted getting equipment and team to the scene.

Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership - Official Launch

Its been a busy week, and something we haven't managed to report until now was the official launch on Wednesday of the Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership (SCDP)

SCDP has been established by a group of local individuals seeking to purchase and maintain strategically located Lifesaving equipment for the town and neighbouring villages.

The devices can be accessed 24 hours a day via 999 and the Ambulance Service who will give you the location of the nearest defibrillator, its access code, and importantly stay on the line whilst treatment is given.  The call to 999 also triggers the despatch of an ambulance.

The volunteers behind the partnership include two serving Coastguards from the Swanage team.  All represent local community groups, but have done this out of their own time and resources and we take our hats off to them.  They are, from left to right Maggie Hardy - Swanage Rotary Club,   David Corben - Swanage RNLI,   Lisa Mattei - Resus Officer Dorset County Hospital ,  Ian Brown - Swanage Coastguard,  Kyle Hickman - Dorset Police & Swanage Coastguard.

Photo Credit: APM Wright, courtesy SCDP blog
To find out where the various defibrillators are located, take a look at this map.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy

The first Saturday of the school holidays brought a very busy day for the Coastguard volunteers, with 8 incidents recorded through the day.

The day started just around 11.00am when the team met a local dive boat from which a diver had been airlifted a short time earlier.  The diver, returning from the Everleigh wreck had planned to take a scheduled 10-metre stop on his ascent, but had lost control of his buoyancy and despite his buddy's best efforts, had continued to the surface.  He showed no symptoms of the bends, but after a call to the dive doctor, was airlifted to the compression chamber in Poole anyway.  The team liaised with the diveboat skipper and the diver's buddy to check their welfare and to collect background information leading up to the incident.

Incidents continued to occur during the day, and the next task was to clear Studland beach so that the Royal Navy EOD team from Plymouth could blow up some wartime ordnance discovered there.
World War II munitions discovered on Studland Beach

Working with Police and National Trust to clear a very busy Knoll Beach
That done, there were two separate boats in trouble that the team kept a look out for and watch over,  before setting off for the mouth of the Wareham River where there was an 80-year old boater stuck in the mud on a low tide. In the event, our colleagues from Poole lifeboat undertook this rescue and the team returned to Studland where they supported Police and Ambulance services in the immediate aftermath of a road traffic accident on the Studland Road.  First aid support was provided to the Paramedic and logistical support to the Police.

Eyes On

On returning to the station, the team were just washing the vehicle down when they heard a Mayday call from a yacht on fire off the Training Bank at Studland Beach. After liaising with the National Maritime Operations Centre, and not knowing if casualties were likely to be in the water, the team made good speed to the site ready to provide sitreps to the NMOC and to deal with any casualties and / or debris washed on to the beach.  In the event, Poole ALB extinguished the fire and the casualties were transferred by Poole ILB to the Poole pilot boat and taken ashore.  Once the fire was out the lifeboats towed the burnt out yacht to Poole and the Coastguard team set off back to base.

The yacht crew were rescued by Poole ILB before Poole ALB tackled the fire

The day was not quite done yet, and a direct call from a local family saw first aid advice and support given to an unwell relative.  The team advised the tasking of an ambulance and waited until the paramedics were on scene.

Finally, some 12 hours after the initial call out, the vehicle was returned to the station, the logs written up and the lights turned out on a busy day.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A very busy day

The team have had a very busy day with numerous incidents throughout the day.

Having been first called this morning the team are on their 8th incident.

Full updates to follow

Friday, 15 July 2016

Search for possible capsized sailing boat

A 999 call reporting a capsized boat off Ballard had the team and both Swanage RNLI lifeboats out searching late this afternoon.

A member of the public spotted a possible sailing boat drifting eastwards. The National Maritime Operations Centre tasked the Coastguard team , one team heading to Ballard point and the other to the NCI lookout at Peveril Point. Swanage ILB was tasked and started to search whilst the Coastguard teams searched with binoculars.

The Coastguard teams spotted a possible object some distance off Ballard Point so the ILB was redirected to that area and joined by the all weather lifeboat.

A large area was searched by both lifeboats but nothing further was spotted or found.

Thursday, 14 July 2016


It's a sad and lonely life being the Stations dummy. Your left for hours in the station or in wilds of Dorset .....waiting .......waiting to be rescued.

Sometimes you are cold and wet floating about waiting to be picked up during a search exercise.

Then your strapped into the stretcher and brought up the cliff.

So if you see me ..... Say hello but leave me alone , it's just a big game of hide and seek

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Keep Purbeck Tidy

This came through my door this week, delivered by a good friend who is often seen out and about, collecting bags of litter from the verges and hedgerows.

Keeping the beautiful Isle of Purbeck free of litter should be uppermost in all of our agendas,  so why not pop along to Harmans Cross on Thursday to show your support and find out more.

A Field Day

The MCA have confirmed Nick's appointment as the Deputy Station Officer this week.

The Area Commander , Senior Coastguard Operations Officer and Station Officer all endorsed Nicks position having seen him coordinate incidents , training and the daily operation of the team.

Congratulations to Nick from us all in the team on his hard work and enthusiasm.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Helicopter safety advice

The Coastguard has several size helicopters currently in service.

Helicopters are life saving aircraft and the crews are highly skilled in their operation.

Anytime they operate they attract the public who are keen to photograph or see them in action.

All helicopters cause a large amount of down draft and this can blow people over or blow debris about.

The rotor blades , along with the tail rotor are to be totally avoided.

As we found on Saturday sometimes the public tried to get a little too close and one person was a little rude to an officer who was just trying to prevent an accident.

Please help us to keep you safe , keep your distance.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Team tasked to persons cut off by the tide

Hours after our warning of being cut off by the tide, the team were pages to investigate a possible person stuck at the North end of the bay.

Just before 11pm a 999 was received by a member of the public at Sheps Hollow concerned for a person under Ballard. The person could see a fire and the tide was up to the small landslip.

The team deployed and confirmed there was someone at the location and set off to check their welfare.
As the team kitted up in their water rescue equipment 3 people were spotted walking close under the cliff line back towards Sheps Hollow.

The team escorted the 3 around the Landslip and confirmed they were safe , they had been waiting for the tide to drop before making their way back.

Thankfully someone took the time to report this incident and although everyone was safe the incident could have turned out very differently.

Always check the tide and weather

999 Coastguard

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Do you know what the tide is doing ?

Do you go for a walk along the beach ?

Do you know what the tide is doing ?

With a strong South westerly wind the sea was pushing up despite this being after high water.

North of Sheps Hollow you can be cut off by the tide , don't take risks

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Teams tasked to Anvil Point

Both Swanage and St Albans teams were tasked to Anvil Point this afternoon to a collapsed dog and missing owner.

A 999 call from Anvil Point had reported a couple walking the coastal path when the dog became unwell. One partners had gone to get help whilst the other waited with the dog. After an hour no one had returned and the concerned female called the Coastguard for assistance.

On arrival the dog and female were located and taken up to the car park to tend to the dog. As the teams assembled to search for the missing male he turned up with one of the Country Park Rangers.

With everyone located the teams were stood down.

Divers airlifted to Poole

This morning the team were tasked to meet a local dive boat after they had reported some divers overdue.

Thankfully the divers were all located however two of them had showed some medical issues which required checking.

The Coastguard liaised with the dive doctor and it was decided both divers needed to attend the dive centre in Poole.

Rescue 104 was tasked and landed at Peveril Point where both divers were flown to Poole. The Poole Coastguard team attended to meet the aircraft.

We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to the residents of Peveril whilst the area was closed.
The area is cleared for the safety of all concerned and the safe operation of the aircraft.

Rescue 104 takes off after collecting two divers

Coastguard team tasked to search for overdue fishermen

Just after midnight the team were tasked to search for two overdue fishermen in Swanage.

A partner had called the Coastguard concerned that their last contact was at 21.00 and now the mobile phones were not being answered.

The team deployed and soon saw lights just beyond Sheps Hollow, the tide was high but the two fisherman were found walking back having fished right under Ballard Down.

Both men were assisted around a small landslip , then back to Sheps Hollow and the Ballard Estate.

Thankfully this incident was brought to a safe conclusion although both might have some explaining too do once they are home.

In a coastal emergency call 999 - Coastguard

Friday, 8 July 2016

Never off duty

A relaxing walk at middle beach after work suddenly turned into an incident today.

A windsurfer was monitored for about 15 minutes this afternoon , when they seemed to struggle to get back to shore. Suddenly they started to wave and that prompted a 999 call to the Coastguard.

The Coastguard were just in the process of calling the Swanage Lifeboat when two boats responded to the windsurfer waving. One of the boats managed to get along side and bring the female ashore to meet the Coastguard team on the beach.

Having been checked the lady was most grateful and didn't realise the link with the 999 call and the team meeting her!

#always on duty .....999 Coastguard

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Show and Tell

Swanage Main Beach will be patrolled by RNLI Beach Lifeguards from Saturday, operating from 10.00am to 6.00pm, 7 days a week through the summer covering from the Mowlem Stream as far as Ocean Bay.

The lifeguards popped in today for a chat about the work we do, to understand our competencies and to look at the types of incidents where we might find ourselves working together.

We took the opportunity to show the lifeguards some of our kit, and let them try it out so that whenever we are pitched together in an incident, it won't be unfamiliar to them.

First, an explanation about the stretcher and how the straps tighten.....
then lift.....
...and away!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A drive in the countryside

Last night the team headed out for some training and local knowledge checks.

With the rain and sun shine the grass has grown and the tracks are difficult to locate.

Heading down to the western mile markers

One reason for the trip was to ensure the gates could open and locked oiled.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


It's strange how we seem to go through a 'run' of similar jobs.  A few months ago we were undertaking a few searches, but now it appears to be ordnance season with the team being tasked following the discovery of an intact shell at Studland this afternoon.
The Navy EOD team were already in Dorset from an earlier incident, and didn't take long to reach the scene, thanks in part to the police 4-wheel-drive 'Rhino' which makes light work of ferrying personnel and equipment across the beach and through the dunes.
As it wasn't clear whether the shell had previously denotated, the decision was made to destroy it on scene and the coastguard team, assisted by police and National Trust staff cleared an area of beach and maintained a safe cordon.
A few minutes and one loud boom later, the item was made safe and the beach reopened to the public.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Keeping watch

Most weekends the team head out on patrol to check the local area.

Most people probably don't realise what we do , just a lot of watching and ensuring people are safe out on the coast.

We check access routes , liaise with partner agencies and give safety advice.

Sunday, 3 July 2016


It's not a case of nothing going on so nothing happens at the station , in fact that means lots more checking of the equipment to ensure its ready when required.

Each bit of equipment is checked very carefully.

And then all carefully put away ready for the next callout.