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


Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Unknown Warrior

The volunteers headed out this afternoon to take part in the towns Remembrance Parade along with the MP, local dignities , Royal Signal Regiment, veterans and local groups.
At the start of the start of the parade , the story of the Unknown Warrior was read out. The parade then headed to church before heading back to the town's war memorial.

The wreaths laid, the team take a moment to reflect
#we will remember them 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Para Glider airlifted after accident on Swanage Beach

The Coastguard team were requested to assist South Western Ambulance north of Sheps Hollow.

A para gliders canopy had collapsed as he approached the beach causing a crash landing on the cliff face. 

Ambulance staff were concerned the male had a spinal injury so requested assistance.  The Air Ambulance arrived and landed on the beach allowing the Doctor to assess the male.  Rescue 104 had been tasked due to the winch capability and arrived on scene shortly after.

Swanage RNLI ILB was requested by the Station Officer as the tide was coming in and there was a risk the rescue teams being cut off.  The lifeboat was used to moved some ambulance staff up the beach.

The male was airlifted and flown for treatment at Dorchester Hospital.

Friday, 11 November 2016

We did remember them

At 11 am the nation stood still and that included many residents in Swanage.  For two minutes the community stood still and remembered those lost in conflict.

We do remember them

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Keeping on Track

Off road driving is a part of our role , often to get to incidents.

Learning routes and how to drive off road is important to keep us safe.

 Often we have to cross private property so keeping to the tracks is important so not to damage crops.
Keeping out of water and not causing environmental damage is our aim

Always checking the route ahead to ensure we are not entering a dangerous area or going to be stuck.

Technical Issues

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but we are experiencing some technical problems posting.

Stay with us ..... We are working on it

Monday, 7 November 2016

Photo Finish

Just as the team were packing up following an incident at Knoll Beach last week, we were approached by a local photographer who'd shot a few photographs that he thought we might like to see.  They really capture the power and drama of the rescue helicopter and we thought we'd share a few here.

Our thanks to Jamie Rose of JDR Pictures; it was nice chatting to you and we hope you enjoyed the change in subject matter!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Mud Rescue Training

In our second training session of the week, the team learned the 'theory' being mud rescue, with a 'practical' to follow next week.

All Coastguard Rescue teams are trained in First Aid, Search and Water Rescue techniques. In addition,  and depending on their location, some are also trained in rope rescue (cliffs) or in mud rescue.

With the northern part of our boundary being along the shoreline of Poole Harbour,  it's been decided that we ought to have a mud rescue capability too, and so this session was the first in that process.

Below we see Allan our SCOO, explaining how the lance pushes water and air underneath a stuck person to loosen the mud around them and free them.  Ian tries it out in the station and then, with the water jetting, he gives it a go outdoors.  Next time it'll be in the mud!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Man Rescued from Old Harry

The team were busy yesterday along with Dorset Police, Swanage Inshore Lifeboat and Rescue 106 Helicopter in locating and then recovering a male from the base of the cliff at Old Harry.

Whilst the team observed from the cliff top and kept onlookers away from the edge,  the police launch and lifeboat moved in to recover the individual and assess his condition. Rescue 106 carries a paramedic winchman and although there was initially a thought to lower him onto one of the boats to attend to the casualty, it was decided to take the man by boat to Studland beach where the helicopter landed alongside.

After a thorough assessment by the winchman the male was airlifted to Poole hospital and the volunteers returned to the station for a debrief; a good example of multi agency working and another successful operation.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Know Your Safety Equipment

Do you know how to use your safety equipment?

Sailing on a yacht, cruising on a motorboat or paddling on a kayak: a day out on the water can be one of the best ways of spending time outdoors. But having the correct communication device is essential, and more important than having the equipment on board is having the knowledge and ability to use it. Training courses are readily available at organisations like the RYA. Make sure you learn the basics of radio operation, which button should I press? What radio frequencies (channels) to use? You should also familiarise yourself with the distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures.

And while it may sound a bit obvious, you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. So our final advice to you is to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return and update them if your plans change.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

First Aid Training

Some shots from our training earlier in the week. 
Rob, the Weymouth area SCOO, is fitting a collar to Duncan whilst Eric seems slightly reluctant to lay down to be put into the recovery position. Perhaps he has seen the fate of the dummy lying on the ground next to him.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Halloween Night

Whilst many families were out trick or treating last night,  the Coastguard Volunteers were on station watching some horror videos of their own, with a selection of the Co-Op's Halloween sweets and cakes for company.  We saw plenty of 'blood and guts' to last us until next year's Halloween  (well not guts to be fair, but plenty of cuts, lacerations, abrasions, breaks and bones) and the good news is that, as a result, we are now all requalified in our First Aid training.

However, along the coast in Selsey, our colleagues celebrated Halloween with this creation which we thought deserved a mention.  Well done chaps - gives us some ideas for next year!!