Sunday, 22 October 2017

Water Rescue Training

The team took advantage of a beautiful sunny morning and some choppy seas today to practice water rescue techniques in the breaking waves.

We used the 'wedge' and the 'huddle' to maintain stability in the swell and practiced causalty recovery by both floating stretcher and by rope following a tethered swim by the rescuer

After a really good morning's work, our SCOO gave us the good news that he had seen us demonstrate all the competencies required to revalidate the team in Water Rescue for three more years.

Thanks to Hellie Ridler for the photos.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Brian arrived

The patrol headed out this morning to monitor the high tide and the arrival of Brian.

Stone Quay

Studland - Knoll Beach

Anvil Point

Durlston Bay

Friday, 20 October 2017

Brian is on the way

The Met Office has issued a weather warning and named the storm 'Brian'

04:00 on Saturday until 23:59 on Saturday
A spell of strong southwesterly winds is expected. Some coastal routes and communities are likely to be affected by large waves, with potential for flooding of properties. Some transport disruption is likely across the warning area, with delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport. Short term loss of power and other services is also possible.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Portuguese Man of War washed up

A number of objects which appear to be Portuguese Man of War jellyfish have been washed up at Ocean Bay this afternoon and we are advising swimmers and walkers - including pets being walked - to take care.
Large numbers of these have been appearing along the South Coast in recent weeks and today seems to be Swanage's turn.
The Portuguese Man of War has a very painful sting and potentially fatal venom.

The photos below were taken between Groynes 6 and 7 but please take care all along the beach.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

On Patrol

Coastguards SW06 and SW07 photographed on patrol on Ballard Down this afternoon, courtesy of a passing cyclist.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Sunny Morning

It's a beautiful Autumn morning in Purbeck as these photos show - taken by Coastguard Austen at Studland earlier. 

If you're out and about on the Coast today, have a great day and stay safe.
Keep an eye on the tides and watch out for slippery footpaths if you're walking.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Pride of Britain

We thought we should share the good news that one of the team has reached the regional finals of ITV's Pride of Britain Award.

Station Officer Ian Brown was nominated earlier this year and is one of four finalist that will be featured this week on ITV Meridians News at 6pm.

The nomination by Peter Wakefield is for the voluntary work carried out in the last two years on the Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership

Working with four others at the start , the project set out to provide four Defibrillators in the community however it's slightly exceed expectations providing twenty devices thanks to the massive public support.

The partnership has grown and has nearly twenty volunteers assisting in maintaining and the education of their use in an emergency.

The programme will also feature Ian's other voluntary work in the Coastguard which has spanned 26 years of service.

Ian said " on behalf of the partnership and Coastguard I am very proud to have been nominated for such a special award.
I am very lucky to work with quite a few equally minded people who achieve so much in the community"

ITV Meridian News 6pm to 6.30pm

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Coastguard team locate missing male

At 00.04 Solent Coastguard tasked the team to assist Dorset Police in a search for a male at Studland.

The male had been calling police stating he was lost and not feeling well but kept cutting his phone off.

The team arrived at Knoll Beach and carried out a search of the beach along with Police.
The Police helicopter and Police dog handler joined the search which had moved to the Chain Ferry area.

Both Poole RNLI lifeboats launched to search the shoreline around Shell Bay.

Just after 2am a Coastguard search team located the male close to the house boats at Shell Bay. The Coastguard left the male with the Police and returned to the station just before 3 am

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Helicopter Assistance at Durlston

The team has been back in action today assisting an elderly gentleman who'd lost his footing and taken a tumble whilst out walking the Coast Path, and who'd become faint as a result.

Arriving before the medical services, the team stabilised the gentleman and set about checking him over for any physical injuries as well as monitoring his general condition.

The team prepped the stretcher in readiness for a carry out of approx two thirds of a mile, but when it became apparent that the ambulance might be delayed, Rescue Helicopter 175 was despatched along with its winchman paramedic.   The winchman made further checks and although he could find nothing untoward, it was agreed that the gentleman should be assessed in the ambulance which had by now arrived at Anvil Point lighthouse.

skillful work from the helicopter pilot to land on one wheel on the side of a hill, yet keep the machine level
Rather than physically carry the gentleman a fair distance over tricky terrain the helicopter made a single wheel 'light' landing on the sloping hillside sufficient to quickly load the stretcher aboard, and the casualty was then flown the short distance to the ambulance.

Thanks to Steve Richards and Iain Fraser for the photos

Our thanks go to Dorset Police who assisted us on scene today, and to the Dorset Police Rib which relayed our channel 0 VHF communications to the UK Coastguard from its waterborne position below us.

Friday, 22 September 2017

How long have Coastguards been volunteers

It's been a little busy this week again so sorry for the lack of Blogs.

In between work and callouts a comment on facebook caught our eye.

Someone posted a picture of our truck and wrote - thank you to the volunteer Coastguards ........

A comment said " since when have Coastguards been volunteers" - well in Swanage, 1888 to be precise. ( yes that's over one hundred years!!!)

Although there are full time Coastguards in our operations centres and senior officers, the Rescue teams are ALL volunteers who all have full time jobs.

A little volunteering last night at Anvil Point ......

Rope training in the dark as Terry heads over the cliff.

Nick heads down 90ft

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Two more incidents and training

The team have again been called twice in the last two days with the weather being a factor.

On Monday the team were called to Studland and two paddleboarders being swept out to sea and yesterday a possible swimmer in trouble off Swanage beach.

Thankfully all involved got safely back ashore.

Last night just as the weather started to change the team along with Dorset Police carried out a search exercise at Studland.

With several objectives to be achieved and the rain the casualty was located quickly which enabled everyone to return to the station to dry off and have a mug of tea.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Driving Rain, High Winds and four taskings

Sunday was a busy day for the team with four separate incidents (so far!)

The first was around 1am when the team was tasked to a female fallen over a cliff in Bournemouth - in this case the tasking was to support colleagues from Southbourne and Lymington but we were stood down when the lady was recovered by other means.

Next was a suspected piece of ordnance, discovered at Knoll Beach by the early morning patrol. Photographs were sent to EOD who examined them and who were content that the heavily corroded item was harmless.  The team marked the object up to avoid further calls and liaised with the landowner to arrange removal and disposal.

With the weather now worsening, the next task was back in Studland and to the asistance of a young lady who had twisted her knee badly when out walking near Old Harry.  Working with the NT rangers, first aid was given and the lady was stabilised and made comfortable before arrangements were made to recover her back to the village and from there to hospital.

Finally, whilst Swanage RNLI were out rough weather training, they noticed what looked to be a fresh cliff fall in the Tilly Whim area and the team was tasked to investigate from above.  Wearing full foul weather kit three CROs checked the area and coast path from the top, and after a further conversation with the lifeboat stood down when nothing could be found.

Meanwhile some of the newer members have spent a weekend training in Bournemouth.

That's 8 calls in the first ten days of September.....What will the rest of the month hold?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Light Aircraft makes an Emergency Landing

The team were tasked this afternoon to a mayday call regarding a light aircraft with engine trouble over Poole Harbour.

With information sketchy about whether the plane would land safely or not and the location that it might eventually come down, the full team was tasked ready to mount a coastal search if required and to carry out first aid and recovery as appropriate.  Colleagues from other emergency services were also tasked.

In the end, the pilot was able to make a controlled landing in a field near Fitzworth Point, adjacent to Wych Farm and a search was not required.

There were no injuries to either the pilot or his passenger.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Bella says Thankyou

You may remember an incident earlier in the summer when we recovered 'Bella', the golden retriever from off the cliffs below the Downs at Swanage.
Although Bella's owners were very appreciative at the time, they decided to come back to Swanage last week and say thankyou properly and to meet the team.
We met at the CG Station and chatted for an hour or so over a cup of tea and the couple said they had seen us at an incident a couple of days earlier; like many, they hadn't realised that we are just volunteers who all have day jobs as well.
It was great to see the family all back together with both their dogs safe and sound and our thanks go out to them for coming to see us and for their kindness.

Naturally, we couldn't miss out on the opportunity for a quick photo for the album!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Going to the beach today?

If you are heading to beach today , please observe the signs and parking restrictions.

Blocked gates or tight access can delay us getting to an incident.

That incident may be for you.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Its the Bank Holiday

Unusually for a bank holiday the sun is shining which means it's a bit busy.

Yesterday both the Swanage and St Albans teams were tasked to a lady fallen at Dancing Ledge. The lady appeared to have suffered a twisted or broken ankle so was carried out by the teams and with her family taken to hospital.

Today's patrol were tasked to the sailing club in Swanage after a sailing dinghy took on water. Swanage RNLI ILB soon arrived and brought those involved ashore to be met by the team. All were well so everyone resumed.

Tonight the team were tasked to Anvil Point to search for a possible person in a dinghy. Due the failing light it was a very quick search but nothing was found and no one has been reported missing or over due.

Swanage Coastguard Rescue Vehicle at Anvil Point

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Team assist air ambulance crew

Yesterday the team spotted the air ambulance circling over South Swanage.

The team assisted the crew to the location of the incident and stood by until they returned.

The volunteers are always on call ready to assist where required with helicopter operations being one specialist skill the Coastguard teams have.

The Somerset and Dorset's new helicopter

Friday, 18 August 2017

Busy week for Coastguard volunteers

It's been a busy summers week for volunteer Coastguard teams in the Purbeck area,

3 incidents at Lulworth along with the Kimmeridge team involving people falling from cliffs or hit by rocks.

1 person stuck on a cliff at Swanage with colleagues joining us from St Albans.

1 person airlifted from a path at St Albans last night.

All these incidents have involved the rescue helicopter 175 to assist.

In total there are 48 volunteers on call in the area ready to assist those in trouble or who have been injured.

Never attempt a rescue yourself - what may look like a slope could cause you and others serious injury if things go wrong.

# 999 Coastguard

Sunday, 13 August 2017

A very long night

Coastguard teams risk assess their areas and deploy patrols to reduce risks especially if there is an event in the area.

For the second night running the team headed out to an event at Studland that in past years has seen some serious maritime incidents.

At 7pm the team headed out and it wasn't long before it was reported there was some serious fighting going on aboard some boats at South Beach.
On arrival it had calmed down but the team remained around to ensure people were going back to their boats safely.

The team then spotted some persons in danger of being cut off by the tide and went along to point them to a safer location.

Then a large jet ski was found balancing on rocks and along with the owners assisted moving it before the incoming tide caused any damage.

One of the biggest risks whilst at the beach is mixing cold water and alcohol. The team spotted several naked makes swimming at South Beach. The group were monitored and later give safety advice.

Sadly a further fight started on a boat with the team standing by whilst Police attended. The boats parted company and were monitored back to Poole due to their behaviour.

The patrol then located a cyclist in a ditch , first aid was offered along with a suggestion of leaving the bike and catching the bus. This was declined and the cyclist headed off again this time with his white tshirt on rather than his black jumper.
This was good advice from the team as 10 minutes later they spotted the male embedded into a hedge. This time the bike was left at scene and the male dropped at the ferry for his and other road users safety.

Shortly after this incident the team became aware of a female cyclist involved in a accident just after knoll beach.
Whilst this isn't the usual Coastguard area of work as an emergency service the team provided immediate care to the seriously injured female.

Immediate assistance was requested from the other services and due to the females condition deteriorating the Coastguard Operations Centre tasked Rescue 175 to scene.

Police and Ambulance arrived and all three emergency services worked together treating the female.
Due to the possible injuries the ambulance crew confirmed the female should be airlifted so an emergency landing site was set up opposite the Knoll House Hotel.
The female was airlifted and taken to Southampton Hospital.

The team finally left the station just before 03.00 having cleaned and replaced the equipment ready for service.

Busy Evening

It's 2.30am and the team has just returned from a busy patrol in connection with a major event in Studland.
Starting soon after 7.00pm, the team dealt with seven incidents through the evening including a serious bicycle accident,  resulting in a multi agency response which saw a young lady with suspected head injuries airlifted to hospital by Coastguard Helicopter 175.

We'll post a fuller update later.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Swanage Lifeboat Week

Swanage Lifeboat week starts this weekend and runs right through to next weekend.   With loads of activities and things to do, it's the year's main fundraising effort for our colleagues at the RNLI.
Why not visit some of their events, have a bit of fun and drop a pound or two into the buckets?

Friday, 11 August 2017

Chain Ferry update

Good news !

We have just heard the ferry is back on.

Chain Ferry Suspended

We have just heard the Sandbanks Chain Ferry is suspended due to being grounded.

It is unlikely that it will be back in service tonight due to the tides.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Ridge Wharf

The team was tasked to support our colleagues from Kimmeridge Coastguard at Ridge Wharf this afternoon when an elderly lady aboard a pleasure cruise on the Wareham River was taken ill.

The skipper called the UK Coastguard by VHF radio and then moored up alongside at a place accessible to ambulance and Coastguard Rescue Officers.

Assistance was provided to the paramedics, and the lady and her friend were helped off the boat and into the waiting ambulance.

With concerns about the falling tide, once the transfer had been made, the boat was soon under way again back into Poole Harbour and the teams returned to base.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Dog Recovered from below the Downs

The team was called for the second time in a day yesterday afternoon, assisting with a dog that had been found at the base of the cliffs at Swanage Downs.

Whilst a full rope rescue was an option, the position of the animal was such that it was feasible to walk the Coastguard team in along the beach and to carry the dog out and reunite it with its grateful owners.

The dog was taken to the vet for a check-up and the team, supported by our colleagues from St Albans,  returned to base.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Early Start

Back to work for most of the team today after the Carnival last week,  but not before a 07:20am tasking to investigate a red dinghy that had been found adrift off Ballard.

Our first concern in such cases is to assess whether anyone has fallen out of the boat,  or whether it was simply washed off the beach or set adrift deliberately.

We established that there hadn't been anyone on board and so the potential for a sea search was removed.   We then set abut trying to identify the owner, and by 11.00am with help from the local community of commercial  fishermen, the owner had been located and reunited with his boat.

Investigations are ongoing but it would appear that it was initially taken from the beach early on Monday, perhaps with malicious intent, but then later discarded.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

And Relax.....

So Swanage Carnival is over for another year and the team can take a breath.
Like us, the Swanage Carnival Committee are all vounteers and they work tirelessly all year to make the Carnival happen - and we do our best to support them by covering the waterborne and coastal activities or those where large crowds are likely to attend.  Two of the team, Eric and Steve, are part of the carnival committee, and Tom spends much of his week helping man the carnival information caravan, so all three have been particularly busy all week, along with their wives.

This year we provided patrols for
- the beach race
- the bay swim
- three firework displays
- the biathlon
- the Red Arrows display.
The SO and DSO also took part in the junior crabbing but we can't really count that!

Incidents were down on previous years  which is good to report, the most serious being a lost 4 year old child, missing for half an hour on carnival Sunday, and a 10 year old on a kayak blown out to sea nearly half a mile during the Red Arrows display.

Finally, time for a quick photo with the local neighbourhood policing team after the Saturday fireworks (we work very closely with the Police all week) and a chance to hear the last band in the marquee before it comes down for another year.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Two incidents during Red Arrows display

The team put a patrol out this afternoon to provide safety cover for the thousands of visitors in Swanage for the visit of the Red Arrows, but moments before the display started they team was tasked by the UK Coastguard control room.

Two separate 999 calls had been made when a young lad on a sit-on kayak was suddenly taken by the wind from the shallows below the Grand Hotel northeastwards towards Ballard.  The boy's father tried to swim after the kayak but he was no match for it and it also evaded a group of long distance swimmers training in the bay. The patrol alerted the Dorset Police Rib which was afloat in the bay, but before it had time to reach the boy, a motor boat at anchor for the display slipped its mooring in pursuit and soon had the boy aboard and the kayak under tow back to the safety of the beach.  The boy's mother had actually been holding the kayak and had just let go to turn it round when it disappeared from her reach. She was shocked how quickly the situation had developed and how the boy came to be several hundred metres adrift after just a couple of minutes.

Whislt keeping watch on the kayak through binoculars  the team also witnessed an individual on the rocks at the base of Ballard Point. Swanage NCI also saw the same and although the two units later liaised with the Ops Room, the individual could not be seen again and was assumed to have departed by one of several boats in the area.

So for the chaps that missed the Red Arrows, here's what you missed.
(All photos courtesy of Jayden Capper)