Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Exercise interrupted by real incident

The Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams were exercising tonight just off the Parish Slipway when they were alerted to an incident on the stone quay.

The water rescue exercise of a person fallen from the sea wall suddenly took a twist for real when a 55 year old male jumped down off the wall at the stone quay landing 5 feet below injuring his ankles.

The teams immediately provided first aid and treated the male for a potential spinal and neck injury along with his ankles.

An ambulance was tasked and with the help of the Coastguard recovered him back over the sea wall to the ambulance.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Team called to collapsed people

The team had an early call on Sunday morning with a male struggling to breath close to the Anvil Point lighthouse.

On arrival the team provided first aid until the arrival of the Durlston Rangers buggy which helped move the casualty to the road.

With an ambulance on scene it would appear having got hot walking to the site and then jumping into the sea this may have cause a sudden reaction to the coldwater.

Later in the day the patrol were tasked to a report of a collapsed male at Sheps Hollow.
On arrival the person was located and confirmed ok. A very small grass fire caused by a discarded cigarette was also put out after which the male left the area.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Hot afternoon at Studland

Another busy time for the Coastguard this afternoon.

The first incident was to provide some support to a young girl who was taken ill on the beach at Studland.

A missing 5 year old sparked a search on Studland beach. Along with national trust staff the patrol searched the beach until a member of the public located the child about half a mile away. All were reunited and given some safety advice.

As the afternoon drew to a close the patrol and full team were tasked to Shell Bay to assist the ambulance service. A Male had dived into swallow water injuring his neck so along with the Poole lifeboat crew the Male was carried to the ambulance.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

When England play ....

The scene last week when England was playing football....

The usual busy view point over looking Poole Harbour was almost empty !

At least the queue for the ice cream van wasn’t long !

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Swimmer rescued at Poole Harbour entrance

A swimmer had a lucky escape this afternoon when they got into difficulties near to the chain ferry.

Poole Inshore Lifeboat launched along with Coastguard teams from Swanage and Poole tasked to investigate.

On arrival the Swanage Coastguard team were pointed to the direction of the male and managed to spot the swimmer struggling in the water.
A small passing boat went to the swimmers assistance but were unable to recover him aboard.
The Coastguard team directed the lifeboat to the swimmer who took him aboard and ashore to North Haven.

Due to the condition of the swimmer an ambulance was requested and conveyed the male to hospital.

The swimmer had started his swim at shell bay when he was swept across the path of the chain ferry.
He was lucky to be spotted with rescue units close by to rescue him.

Due to the strong current it is not advisable to swim near to the harbour entrance.

Coastal emergency dial 999 - Coastguard.

How to call the Coastguard

So if you decide to head to the coast. ( to avoid the football)

See someone in trouble or need assistance.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


The Station Officer and Deputy joined forces with the Neighbourhood Police Team last week to brief the wardens at  Studland.
The National Trust employs its own Rangers and these are supplemented in the summer by a private security firm. Last week's meeting gave us all a chance to agree the common approach on calling the emergency services and how we could expect each other to respond in a  variety of incidents such as missing children, the discovery of ordnance, antisocial behaviour etc.  It's good to get these protocols established at the start of the season and we look forward to another successful summer with the NT.

Monday, 2 July 2018

An Evening at St Albans Head

Our flank team at St Albans invited us to a joint training session last week, so the team headed to Worth to join them and from there, out to St Albans head itself.

teams working together at the top
It's always good to train in unfamiliar locations and the cliff at St Albans offers an opportunity to run the set up over a double ledge - ie the technician decends from the operating level down the cliff face to the next ledge below, before walking out to the edge of that and descending over the edge of that too.
The view going over the second ledge

On a glorious summer evening, we managed to get 6 technicians over the cliff whilst the rest of the teams took it in turns to operate the main and safety lines and the tugger recovery system.
Assisted descent (the second, untrained person could be a paramedic or police officer etc)

Policy is to task two teams to a rope rescue, and so it makes sense for flank teams to train together, and our thanks to the team at St Albans for the invite.
Some different scenery at St Albans!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

A long afternoon

As the sun sets on Swanage the team have just completed six hours of searching and five incidents during that time.

This afternoons patrol headed straight to the sunken boat off the boat park to check on the pollution.
Thankfully nothing was found and the boat has now been recovered to the boat park.

The team were then tasked to assist Dorset Police with a search for a missing 60 year old female. Making several sweeps of the shoreline from Ballard to Peveril Point the lady was found by Police in the town. DorSAR and the RNLI lifeguards also assisted in the search.

During the search the team also dealt with a motor boat which was believed to have broken down, a missing child which was quickly located and a jet ski which appeared in trouble.

A special thank you to several local cafes who kindly looked after the team in providing drinks and food to them during the search.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Could you volunteer ?

We are still looking for Coastguard Rescue Officers in Swanage and other local teams.

You may only have a few hours in the day that you could be free to respond, so why not come and have a chat.

It’s not all rescue work , there is public engagements , training and of course a way to meet new people .

If you are interested, get in touch with a team member, leave your details at the Station in North Beach Car Park or drop us a note on Facebook.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Exercise Combined Approach

Coastguard Teams from Swanage St Albans and Poole came together at Studland this week for a large search and rescue exercise.

The scenario saw two “over due “ walkers visiting the area go missing.

Search teams deployed and found both persons but that was only the start with both having to be extracted from difficult locations.

There is someone in there somewhere !
Our thanks to ‘Dave’ who played a challenging casualty along with some realistic makeup to test the first aid assessments

Team members from three local Coastguard teams combine to form search teams.

The second extraction was a little more difficult and required a double rope rescue set up.

Working in difficult conditions the second casualty was recovered.

Twenty plus Coastguard Rescue Officers practising their skills.

Coastal emergency ? 999 Coastguard

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Team work

The team met our new sea front ambassador this week , part of the Tourist Information Centre team.

Working together we all work to improve the safety of the beach and maintain the standards of an award winning blue flag beach.

If you have an emergency on the beach or out to sea 999 Coastguard.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Come and meet us at the fish festival

We are back at the fish festival today so pop by to find out about the Coastguard.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Boat Engine catches Fire

The team was tasked to the boat park slipway this morning to meet the lifeboat towing in a speedboat whose outboard had caught fire to the North of Ballard Down.
The fire had been extinguished by the time the speedboat was moored alongside the Council jetty, but two DWFR appliances attended from Swanage Fire Station to cool down the engine which was still smoking and to prevent reignition.

The CG team monitored the sea for oil and/or fuel pollution from the damaged engine (one of the MCA's goals is 'cleaner seas') and spoke with the two occupants once they were safely ashore to check their welfare and discuss safety considerations and to help them with arrangements to recover the boat back to Poole.
It seems the pair had taken the right precautions including disconnecting the fuel tanks and moving them into the bow of the boat, as far away from the fire as possible. Both wore life jackets and had started to fight the fire but were prepared to evacuate the vessel had the situation worsened.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Patrol tasked to possible missing jet ski

Today’s patrol were tasked to Ocean Bay and a report of a jet ski being towed in minus its rider.

The team searched the area and spoke with many people to establish if anyone was missing.

After a search which relocated the ski , no person came forward and no person has been reported missing.

See someone in trouble ?

999 Coastguard

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Good bye and thank you

It was both a sad and exciting day today..........

After 15 years of loyal service we said good bye to a valued team member ..... our Vehicle.

Yes sadly this long serving and valued vehicle finally said good bye to Swanage.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who worked hard to service the vehicle and keep us on the road - one careful owner and about 20 drivers it served us well.

So we move on and welcome our new vehicle

Our new vehicle has travelled about 630 miles where it was previously stationed in Scotland.

The team have been busy tonight ensuring it’s ready for services.

Monday, 28 May 2018

First Aid and a Yeti

A lovely day in Swanage yesterday after an interesting evening of thunder storms.

The patrol were flagged down on shore road to provide first aid for a cut and broken toe.

We also caused some confusion as we aren’t in our usual vehicle at the moment

We are borrowing a slightly different vehicle so sorry to those who went to wave yesterday and weren’t sure it was us !

A Yeti at Middle Beach yesterday

So just as we thought the day was done the whole team were tasked to assist South Western Ambulance at Durlston with a lady who had fallen and broken her arm.

The team provided first aid until the ambulance arrived, also providing care to a baby who had been involved and a young lady who during the incident had been bitten by a dog.

Finally we stood back and again watched an amazing electrical storm over Old Harry.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Are you prepared for the weekend ?

It’s a bank holiday weekend !

The weather might just be a little unpredictable in places with heavy thundery showers.

So what ever you are doing prepare well and ensure you have all your safety equipment and clothing.

The team did some preparation last night and hopefully it won’t be required but just in case we focused on our rope rescue skills.

The view looking down at Anvil Point.

Looking west from the bottom.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Search for missing Swanage resident

The team were tasked this morning to assist Dorset Police with a search for a 71 year old missing female.

The team were joined by colleagues from St Albans , DorSAR and both Swanage Lifeboats to search a large area around Swanage.

As the teams started their searches of the sea front an urgent call came in to assist a Male at Chapmans Pool reported to be in cardiac arrest. The St Albans team proceeded along with Rescue 175 and both lifeboats. Further Coastguards were tasked to assist but stood down on arrival.

The team further medically checked another Male at the location after this incident but after a short while confirmed he was ok to head home.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Help us help you - don’t block gates

The patrol on Monday came across this ......

Whilst it says fire access , these gates are vital for access to the beach in emergencies.

Whilst it doesn’t look bad the parking made it nearly impossible to use the access due to the angle.

Please keep clear of access gates - it could be you we are coming to rescue - park sensibly.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Why go away when you have Swanage ?

It’s going to be a hot one !

Heading to the coast ? Stay safe.

Ensure you know where your children are on the beach.

Wear sun cream for skin protection

Wear lifejackets if you are heading out on the water.

Walk on recognised paths.

In a costal emergency 999 Coastguard.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Busy day for Purbeck teams

The Coastguard teams in the area have had a very busy day on the first day of the bank holiday weekend.

The Swanage patrol were tasked to dancing ledge to back up colleagues from St Albans and Kimmeridge to a report of climber fallen breaking their arm.
Both Swanage Lifeboats were also tasked and picked up the climber and took them to meet an ambulance in Poole.

The patrol were again tasked back to Dancing Ledge and a report of another climber twisting their knee.
Again colleagues from St Albans and Kimmeridge were tasked along with the full team from Swanage.

On route the patrol were flagged down to provide first aid to a child fallen off their bike.

The teams arrived at dancing ledge and transported the young girl back to Spyway Barn and transport to the hospital.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Pleasure Cruise Boat Breaks Down

The team were busy on Saturday afternoon when a local passenger cruise boat lost control of its engines as it was docking and struck the pier

Fortunately, none of the 35 passengers were injured and neither the vessel nor the pier were seriously damaged.

However, the team was tasked firstly to administer first aid and secondly to act as liaison between the skipper and crew and the MCA surveyors who needed to be sure that the vessel was fit to sail back.

Whilst the team took photographs of the damage and recorded details of the incident from the crew and witnesses, an engineer was called and he soon had repairs in hand.  Once complete, the MCA duty inspectors and surveyors were called and they passed the vessel fit to return to its base so long as the engineer stayed on board throughout.

The team stood down and returned to base some five hours after being called.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Joint Working

A person over the cliff at Studland yesterday saw many of the town's emergency services working together as well as Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and  Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 175.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Behind the scenes

Our busy spell over Easter seems to have quietened down this week, but that doesn't mean the team hasn't been busy behind the scenes:

MONDAY:  Tidy up of kit and station after Sunday's incident.  Casualty came back to see us and to collect personal belongings.

TUESDAY: SO and DSO on station; tasked to investigate something in the bay.

WEDNESDAY: Visit from 20 members of Swanage NCI and a talk about our roles and joint working.

THURSDAY: Training night including some first aid work. New PPE had been delivered so this was unpacked and labelled.

FRIDAY: Our 4x4 off to the garage for maintenance.

So, as you'll see, it's not all blue lights and rescues - there's quite a lot goes on behind the scenes to keep the station ticking over.

Monday, 16 April 2018

The Good Samaritan ???

We blogged yesterday about a lone male who slipped on the Coast Path and broke his ankle.

Although he tried to phone for help, the casualty soon found out that there's no phone signal in the area, certainly not low down on the path itself.

With no phone signal and unable to walk, the casualty attracted the attention of another walker on the Coast Path and asked him to make a 999 call when he reached an area with reception.  The individual said he had no phone and so he took the casualty's own phone and set off to find some signal. 

Over 24 hours later, and neither the individual nor the phone have been seen since.  The phone rings out when dialled, but isn't being answered.  We'd hate to think that this was a malicious act, but sad to say that at the moment it is being treated as theft and the Police are making enquiries.  We are not even sure the 999 call was ever made.

The Casualty slipped at this location where there is no mobile signal

Fortunately, a second walker named John soon came by and also assisted.  He moved the casualty into a sheltered area and lent him his own coat before heading up the hill to call the emergency services himself.   He gave perfect directions and was waiting for us to show us the correct location once we RV'd at Verney Farm.  Our thanks go out to John who couldn't have been more helpful.

Do you know anything or have you heard of anyone who may have that phone?  Did anyone walking on the coast path near the Western Mile Markers see a discarded phone?  Please let us or Dorset Police know - we'd love to hear from you.

Broken Ankle on the Coast Path

The busy spell continues for the team who were tasked again on Sunday to attend to a walker who'd slipped and broken an ankle on the SW Coast Path directly south of Verney Farm.

Although initially tasked to assist the ambulance service, the team arrived well before the paramedics (the benefit of local knowledge and a 4x4 response vehicle) and so set about making the 60 year old male comfortable, monitoring his condition and administering first aid.

The incident occurred south of Verney Farm to the west of the Western Mile Marker
Waterlogged, muddy and slippy ground conditions coupled with the steepness of the cliffside at that location meant that extraction on foot was never a possibility and so Rescue Helicopter 175 was dispatched from Lee on Solent.  One option was to convey the casualty to hospital, but it was decided to fly him to the ambulance (which was parked on hard ground a mile or so away) where he could be attended to by the paramedics.

R175 waits until the casualty is ready to be winched into the aircraft.  It wasn't possible to land owing to the terrain

The team returned to the station to clean up some very muddy kit and to try to find temporary accommodation for Rummage, the man's dog who had been walking with him.  Sadly, there was no room for Rummage in the helicopter and so the team looked after her until a kind hearted member of the local community came forward and offered to take her in for the night.

Terry looks pleased to get the dog walking duties!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Call to the beach

The team were tasked yesterday just after midday to a report of a person fallen off one of the wooden Groynes near to the former Ocean Bay.

On arrival a 12 year female was being treated by a paramedic but safely out of the water.

Whilst out dog walking with her family the young lady had slipped and cut her leg badly on the edge of the groyne.

The team supported South Western Ambulance and returned to the station just over an hour later.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Sunday Evening

The patrol was out tonight assisting Dorset Police in the Country Park area following a 'report of suspicious circumstances'.  The team undertook a brief search and assisted the police with location positioning and finally assisting the officers back to their vehicle at the end of the search.

Warning to Peveril Point walkers

During yesterdays incident in Durlston Bay the team came across this very recent fall at Peveril Point.

Normally this would be the natural process all along the cliff line except this was one of the paths down on to the point.

Please do not use this route as the fall is still active and moving.

In a Coastal emergency 999 Coastguard

Friday, 6 April 2018

The Power of Social Media

The team was called out on Friday night following reports of a dog over the cliff at the Downs and of two people who it was thought may have been missing after going to look for it. 

Whislt the team searched the base of the cliffs from Zig Zag back towards Peveril Point, the SO suggested putting a post on our Facebook page to see if anyone knew the persons over the cliff and whether they'd made it home safe and sound.

We issued a post from the scene and in a short space of time it had been shared 34 times and had reached over 3000 people. In approximately 10 minutes, the dog owner called the Ops Room having seen the post and confirmed that all was well and everyone accounted for, and the team duly stood down and returned to base.

The power of Social Media!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Dorset Jurassic Coast Slip

Not in Swanage, but a little further to the west earlier this week.  As our own post at the weekend showed, the cliffs have soaked up a lot of rain water recently and are becoming increasingly unstable.

Click HERE to play video

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Further Incidents

The team have had a busy 24 hours .

Late yesterday afternoon the team were tasked along with the St Albans Team to support the Police on the Downs with a concern for a male.

The Male was quickly located safely by the Police as the team arrived.

This afternoon the team were tasked to support some off duty lifeboat crew and a Coastguard who had stopped to help a collapsed male.

The incident by the Mowlem saw volunteers from both organisations work together and provide vital first aid until ambulance crews arrived.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Swanage Sea Front Incident

The team were tasked this morning just before 9am to a report of a car in the water near to the Mowlem.

Working with emergency services colleagues from South Western Ambulance , Dorset Police , Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue , Air Ambulance and RNLI, a car was located in the sea and a pedestrian was found to be seriously injured.

There was initial concern that further persons were missing or trapped so the team set up for a water rescue. It was quickly established no other persons were missing so the team provided a cordon and safety cover for the other services.

The team remained on scene for six hours to further support Dorset Police whilst they carried out a detailed search and removal of the car.

Dorset Police have since announced the male pedestrian sadly passed away; our thoughts are with the family.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Easter Slip Watch and dog rescue

Today’s patrol headed out this afternoon to check some important areas.

First was Sheps Hollow and after some heavy rain there was fresh movement creating some small mud slips.

Our advice is to keep clear of the base of the cliffs at the moment.

Never walk up a cliff face , keep dogs on leads as they love running up the slopes - just one problem it’s very soft mud.

One small cave not to explore.

Having checked the cliff it was off to Studland where the patrol were flagged down by a dog walker.

The dog appeared to have broken its leg and the owner asked for assistance to get the dog back to the owners car and an urgent visit to the vets.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Slip , trip and a break

Today’s patrol were tasked to the foot path under Durlston Castle just after 1pm.

A walker had slipped walking their dog and broke their leg. South Western Ambulance has requested Coastguard assistance to get the female to the ambulance.

With the lady transferred to the ambulance , the team stood down to continue their patrol.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Cliff Training with a Difference

The big difference with Thursday's cliff training (or rope rescue training, to give it its proper name) is that there were no cliffs!

Instead, we used out first 'rope' session for a few weeks to run through some of the basics in a sterile environment on the grassy area next to the station - at least, it was sterile after we'd taken the precautionary inspection with a torch, shovel and doggy bag. Grrr!!!

Headquarters have provided us with some new kit recently, and so we used the opportunity to do a full cliff set up on a flat piece of land and try out the new items for the first time before we take them to the cliff top.

Main line and Safety Line Operators in position.  

It also gave us the opportunity to try different people in different roles and for us to introduce our newest team member to rope 'awareness' for the first time. (Rope Awareness is actually one of the achievement levels that someone needs to have reached before being part of a rope operation.  After that comes Rope Rescue Operator and Rope Rescue Technician. There's also a requirement for an Officer In Charge as part of the rope team, but I digress, and maybe more of that another time).

Rope Technician and two Edge Safety Officers

The whole operation was performed under floodlights, which adds another dimension, and we practised two methods of recovery - the petrol winch and the Z-Drag, a basic 2:1 gearing system for hand hauling. Again, more about our different recovery options in another blog!

The orange 'stake linking straps' in the foreground have replaced the previous system of using rope lashings. The Z-Drag recovery system is in use on the far side.

After a quick cup of tea (it was a chilly night!) all the kit was checked, repacked and stowed in the vehicle ready for service.

The Technician's view - normally the view is of a pair of ropes going vertically up the cliff to the quadpod, rather than along the flat