Monday, 31 December 2018

Sun setting on 2018

So as the sun sets on 2018 pause for a moment to say thank you.

Currently the year has been the 2nd busiest year in our history, with some of the incidents lasting several days.

A massive thank you to the team members and their families for their commitment throughout the year.

Thank you to our colleagues both locally and in the National Maritime Operations Centre.

Our colleagues in the other emergency services , RNLI and National Coastwatch.

Finally a mention to our community who without their support in good and bad times we can’t do without.

We continue as a group of volunteers to train , patrol and respond to emergencies.
Bye bye 2018 and welcome 2019

Friday, 28 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - December

Training continued in the form of the Christmas Quiz - a light hearted way of reviewing the year's learning and checking what we know, as well as a few random questions and mystery photos!

Quiz Champions!

Seven incidents (so far) in December, the highest profile of which was a rather large piece of ordnance found on the beach in Studland and promptly disposed of by the Navy EOD team.
We were also tasked to a search last night (Thursday 27 December) which also involved St Albans Coastguard, Police and the NPAS police helicopter, possibly our last incident of 2018?

Search HQ

With three days to go, we stand at 151 incidents for the year, which represents our second busiest year ever, and our busiest since 2010.

That brings to an end our review of the Coastguard Year, and we hope it has been of interest.  We are on call 24/7, and if you'd like to follow us we have both a Facebook Page "Swanage Coastguard" and our blog which are both regularly updated - Click on the banner at the top to get the link.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - November

The high tides and strong winds returned to flood the lower High Street in November, we had a call out on Remembrance Day morning and the team was proud to join the town's Parade later in the day.

We had logged 144 jobs by the end of the month.

Monday, 24 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - October

October saw 12 taskings which was higher than normal, and there were some fairly lengthy incidents amongst them, including a broken leg at Dancing Ledge, a mini-stroke at Emmets Hill and some overdue climbers at Durlston who'd been stranded overnight. 
Sadly there were two lives lost during the month, one was a kayaker who failed to return from a race between Studland and Swanage and was found drifting 22 miles to the South the following day after an extensive sea and coastal search. The second was a young male who was recovered from the rocks at the base of the cliffs at Cattle Troughs.  Thoughts are with both sets of families.

We did some joint training with the Technical Rescue Team from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and worked together to recover a dummy casualty from over the cliff........

......before posing for the obligatory team photo!

A windy day near Chapmans Pool saw us dealing with a walker taken ill.  Two Coastguard Rescue Vehicles and a Helicopter in the shot.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - September

September stayed quieter than normal with 10 incidents, predominantly searches, bringing the running total to 123.

We resumed our training with some rope rescue work under floodlights and with support from the local neighbourhood police team.

Back at the station, the SO learned to multitask!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - August

Traditionally our busiest month, August was quieter than normal with 20 jobs.

The first of the month saw the team support SW Ambulance with a male in cardiac arrest on Studland Beach followed immediately by a search for a family lost in the heathland between the Chain Ferry and Knoll Beach.  With the help of the Police helicopter the team led the family including children and a baby to safety.

August also saw a large fire on Ballard Down which the team attended to ensure no one was trapped on the cliff side and to support partner agencies.

Mid-month we found ourselves at Winspit near Worth Matravers twice in a week extracting two casualties who'd damaged themselves slipping on the rocks there - one was stretchered to the CG helicopter, the other to a waiting ambulance

The end of the month saw us tasked to the Lifeboat Station to meet a yacht being towed in by the ALB.  We don't have a television at the Coastguard Station, so the team took advantage whilst waiting for the lifeboat to return

And the other highlight....another replacement 4x4 vehicle.  This time a brand new Mitsubishi L200 in white!

Friday, 21 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - July

July's training saw us working with the Dorset Police drone unit to simulate the search and rescue of a casualty at the base of Old Harry and a water rescue scenario involving two injured casualties who'd injured themselves falling from the Stone Quay area.
For Exercise

The water rescue exercise became a real incident when a member of public who'd been watching us lost consciousness and collapsed on the Stone Quay and was treated by the team.  He was later found to have broken his leg when he fell.

For Real!

A further rescue took place at Shell Bay where an individual had fallen awkwardly in shallow water, injuring his back in the process.
For Real again!

At the end of the month, the perfect weather broke in a big way as the town celebrated its Carnival day.
Wet Wet Wet

By the end of the month, the incidents tally was at 96.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - June

Community engagement at the Swanage Fish Festival and a multi-team training exercise at Studland which tested search, first aid and rope rescue skills.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - May

Our trusty old Nissan Navarra finally succumbed to years of off road, on beach, wet, muddy, salty, sandy terrain in May and we were lent a Skoda Yeti for a while.

Yeti spotted in Swanage!

Later on in the month a permanent replacement arrived second hand from Inverness Coastguard - a silver Nissan L200.

Our 'permanent' replacement would itself be replaced later in the year!

So long, farewell!

The tally by the end of May was 55 incidents.

A Birthday and a Callout

It's the Station Officer's birthday today, and what better way to celebrate with a call out at 06.00am and the chance to be with your mates?

That's our 4th incident now in the last 3 days and takes us to 149 for the year to date. Will we get to 150?

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday Ian!

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - April

April saw us continuing with local familiarisation and access patrols and a tricky incident involving a walker and a broken leg near Verney Farm out on the Coast Path. Another incident saw a man fall into the water from the cliffs near Old Harry.  Coastguard Terry also became a dog sitter for the day.
On patrol at Agglestone Rock

Rescue Helicopter 175 helped evacuate a walker from the Coast Path.....

....whilst Terry walked the dog back to be cared for!

Fourteen taskings in the month took the total to 43 for the year to date.

Monday, 17 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - March

March brought a good deal of bad weather - rain, wind and snow all combined to keep the team busy.  We monitored the flooding at the Lower High Street on behalf of the Environment Agency, we provided safety cover to the Town Council who were constructing temporary flood barriers and we used the 4x4 vehicle to transport NHS care staff between their homes and their rural outlying calls.

A total of 22 call outs in March brought the running total to 29 for the year.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - February

Out on Patrol in February, Coastguard Eric comes across an obstruction blocking the way!

We also started some new, enhanced first aid training.

February saw 5 callouts taking the tally for the year to 7.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

2018 - Looking Back - January

Its gone a little quieter now, and whilst we haven't so many incidents to tell you about, its a chance to look at what we've been up to all year.

In January we did some vertical rescue training - using our rope rescue equipment to recover individuals trapped down a hole, mine shaft or in between rock armour.

We trained in a sterile environment at Poole Fire Station and then out on the rock armour in Durlston Bay

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The 4th Emergency Service

Returning from a tasking earlier in the week, the team came across a young female with a puncture to her car tyre.

Without hesitation the team stopped to help and soon had the wheel  changed and got the lady on her way.

It was definitely easier with Steve there as when he's not Coastguarding he runs Swanage Tyres, the local tyre centre!  Go and see him and get your own tyres checked before the winter sets in.  He also does batteries and servicing too.  On the industrial estate,  left hand side - you can't miss it.

Wasn't it the AA who coined the '4th Emergency Service' tag? Not this week  they weren't!

Fault Line

The team was out yesterday, responding to a silent call from the emergency phone at Anvil Point.

The phone has no dial but goes straight through to HM Coastguard at the National Maritime Operations Centre whenever it is activated.

Despite a search of the area from Tilly Whim to Cattle Troughs, no one could be found who may have made the call, and when a second call rang in the NMOC, it became apparent that the phone may well be faulty.  Inspection of the cable showed signs of damage, so this was reported to the Country Park and the team stood down.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Slip watch

It’s that time of year when we see the wet weather cause some cliff falls and slips.

These are all active and out advice is to keep clear.

In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Depression, Angst and Support

In recent times the team has seen a sharp rise in the number of  'concern for welfare' incidents where despondent individuals are believed to have deliberately put themselves in harm's way, potentially with a view to taking their own lives. 

We have been called to four such cases in the last 10 days all, thankfully, with a successful outcome.

Life can often seem hard, problems build up and things don't make sense and as a team we never judge - we work with partner agencies to bring the person back into a place of safety where they can talk to someone and get some support. 

There's lots of help out there and if you can't talk with friends and family there are folks out there who offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

There is help and support available
  • Samaritans offer a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week support service. Call them FREE on 116 123. You can also email
  • Papyrus is a dedicated service for young people up to the age of 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or anyone concerned about a young person. You can call the HOPElineUK number on 0800 068 4141, you can text 07786 209697 or email
  • NHS Choices: 24-hour national helpline providing health advice and information. Call them free on 111. C.A.L.M.: National helpline for men to talk about any issues they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58.

Monday, 12 November 2018

We did remember them

After yesterday’s incident, some members of the team represented HM Coastguard in the Town’s Remembrance parade.

The team joined several hundred others including veterans , other services and military personal.

We shall remember all those civilian and military you have fallen in the conflicts around the World.