Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Volunteering for the community

Coastguard Rescue Officers are all volunteers who when called respond to emergencies.

Whilst the Coastguard Service is a Government Agency the feet on the ground at about 300 stations around the country including Swanage are all volunteers.

In our team we have two trainers , a business advisor , a painter , a night porter, teacher , two business owners , a plant operator , a university student and youth leader. Some would say a big mix of skills but that’s what makes a team.

So it was nice this week to receive letters from two people involved in incidents during the last month thanking the teams for their service especially one for a medical emergency who is recovering well.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Teams tasked to St Albans Head

Both St Albans and Swanage Coastguard teams were tasked to St Albans head this afternoon to a 66 year old having a medical episode.

First aid was provided until an ambulance crew arrived. The Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175 had been tasked and landed nearby to evacuate the lady to hospital.

Swanage Coastguard Rescue Vehicle with Rescue 175

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Two divers airlifted

During the search on Sunday , Solent Coastguard took several 999 calls reporting a person in the water at Winspit.

Search assets were diverted and found two divers in the water struggling in the current.

The pair were airlifted by the Coastguard rescue helicopter and landed with the St Albans Coastguard team at St Albans Head.

Neither divers required medical treatment and were returned to their car near spyway barn.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Search Update

The body of a man and his kayak have been recovered from the water this afternoon 22 nautical miles south of Tyneham.

On Sunday 7 October 2018 following an extensive search coordinated by HM Coastguard, the man – believed to be 60-year-old Alistair Collier – was located in the water alongside his kayak by the coastguard fixed wing aircraft and recovered from the water by HMS Tyne and transferred to Poole Hospital by coastguard helicopter.

The search began yesterday afternoon, Saturday 6 October 2018, when race organisers raised the alarm after the man failed to finish a race, which was running between Knoll Beach and Swanage Pier.

An extensive search was carried out yesterday, overnight and throughout today with RNLI lifeboats from Swanage, Poole, Yarmouth, Mudeford, Bembridge and Weymouth, along with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Swanage, St Albans, Kimmeridge and Lulworth and Dorset Police. Coastguard helicopters from Lee-on-Solent, St Athan and Newquay searched overnight and the coastguard fixed wing aircraft was brought in this morning as the search area widened.

Formal identification has not yet taken place, but Alistair’s family have been informed and the coroner has been notified.

We would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search and who has shared the appeal.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Team assist air ambulance

The team assisted the Dorset and Somerset air ambulance this evening at King George’s field.

The crew required access to the field to allow the ambulance near the aircraft.

The team opened up the barriers and assisted with the casualty transfer before securing the field to allow the helicopter to take off.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Early morning call to the pier

The team were called just after 7 am to meet a yacht with a female on board suffering from chest pains.

On arrival at the pier the team provided first aid until the ambulance crew arrived. Having assessed the casualty a decision was made to take her to hospital for further treatment.

The team assisted with the transfer from yacht to pier and then to the ambulance.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Happy Retirement

After 49 years of service , today is the last serving day for Station Officer John Bugler from St Albans Coastguard.

We would like to pay tribute to John and take a moment to say a big thank you for many years of friendship and advice.

At 23.59 tonight, John steps down and hands over to his son Ian.

Both team were tasked yesterday to a person with a possible broken ankle somewhere between Winspit and Seacombe. Despite looking for an hour a further call confirmed the injured person had managed to get to hospital for treatment.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Search at Old Harry

Several Coastguard teams were tasked on Friday to support Dorset Police with a high risk missing persons search.

The team were sent to search Old Harry whilst colleagues searched around Sandbanks.

The missing male from the Swanage area was not located around Old Harry and the search area moved more towards Bournemouth so Swanage team were stood down.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Good luck Bouncer

Today we say good bye to PCSO Iain Leslie aka Bouncer.

Iain has served the area for over 10 years and involved in many joint incidents.

So we take a moment and raise our glass with a massive thank you.

The good news is that’s he’s off to become a Police Officer so maybe he might be back one day.

Last night the team were on exercise and treated Iain to a bit of rope training.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Another week in the Coastguard world

The patrol headed out early yesterday to support the marathons being run along the Purbeck Coast.

Having seen about 500 competitors through Anvil Point they headed to Studland where they were flagged down to a person having chest pains.
With an Ambulance on the way they provided first aid until it arrived.

Earlier in the week the team were called to Dancing Ledge after some clothing was located on one of the ledges. Joined by colleagues from St Albans the area was searched but nothing further was located or anyone reported missing.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Two searches and a dislocated shoulder

A busy 48 hours for the team starting with a search on Wednesday evening at Studland for a concern of a female reported walking into the sea.

Joined by colleagues from the RNLI in Swanage, the team searched the beach whilst the two Lifeboats searched the training bank.

After searching for over an hour no one was located after reports the female was seen getting the chain ferry back to Sandbanks.

On Thursday afternoon the team were tasked to assist the Ambulance service under the Pines hotel with a 17 year old student who had dislocated their shoulder. Due to the location the team requested assistance from the Swanage RNLI inshore lifeboat to transport the casualty to a better location to meet the ambulance.

The team were again tasked around 8pm to a report of a female walking into the sea at Studland. The Coastguard were joined in the search by both Poole Lifeboats , Dorset Police and the Coastguard helicopter. The description of the lady matched the lady from the previous night but no one had seen her come back out or get back on the ferry. Search assets searched from the chain ferry to South beach for nearly 3 hours before the lady was located safe and well returning on the chain ferry by one of the Coastguard teams.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Call 999 rather than post on social media

Whilst we live in a modern era with social media , please remember that the only official way to get the Coastguard is to dial 999.

This morning ‘a Post ‘ about a boat washed up was seen by an off duty team member who contacted the Coastguard Operations Centre.

The team were sent to make enquiries in case anyone was missing. Thankfully it was soon established the boat had come off mooring.

Don’t delay - always call 999, someone’s life could be at risk

Friday, 31 August 2018

Canoeist in difficulties at Studland

A female canoeist practising rescue techniques off Middle Beach saw the team along with both Poole Lifeboats tasked to assist.

On arrival the lady was found ashore safe but needed some medical treatment.
The teams were joined by ambulance crews who treated and took her to Poole hospital.

Shortly after a child was treated for a cut foot at Knoll Beach and then the team searched for the parents of a found child along the beach.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Our new vehicle

So we are a bit late but here is our new vehicle.

A change from the traditional blue and yellow - we went to silver and now the vehicles are white.

The team are getting use to its new functions and where the equipment is stowed

So it was out and about to learn it’s controls and ensure we can access our routes to locations.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Goodbye Nessie

So it all change again at the station with our vehicle “ Nessie” departing from Swanage and was redeployed to Poole.

Having come down from Scotland the vehicle was a temporary one until our new one was completed.

.......so come back tomorrow and see what we have.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Thanks !

You may recall we had a busy Sunday evening recently, including an incident at Studland Middle Beach where an elderly lady had fallen and sustained a nasty gash to the back of her head.

At the time we treated the injury, bandaged it, monitored it and kept the lady warm and in good spirits whilst we liaised with the ambulance service about taking her to hospital (at the same time we were also dealing with a young lad also in some distress with a broken arm further down the beach).
With no ambulance available, the lady was finally assisted from the beach and taken to hospital in our vehicle.

We received a lovely letter from the lady today, thanking us for our kindness and care and wishing us well.

It's great to hear from folks we've helped!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Training Continues

Even though we are going through a busy spell at the moment, that's no reason not to train.

A few nights ago the team were in the Boulder Ruckle area looking at options  for potential rope rescues in that location

Friday, 17 August 2018

Missing Person at Studland

The team were tasked to Studland just before 5pm to support Dorset Police in searching for a missing 17 year old.

On route to Studland the team were stood down when the person was located safe and well.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Paddleboards at Studland

Just as it was getting dark last night, the team was alerted to a group of 9 paddle boarders potentially in difficulties in Studland Bay; a passing vessel had contacted HM Coastguard with concern for welfare.

Coastguard Rescue Officers (CROs) were deployed to South Beach, Middle Beach and Knoll Beach in an attempt to find the paddleboarders, with another unit going to the higher ground at Old Harry for a better view.

The group was soon spotted; all appeared to be in order and they were tracked back towards Knoll Beach where they were met by the team there.

As suspected, everything was fine and the group had just been out for an evening paddle to Old Harry and back were never in difficulty.  We did discuss letting HM Coastguard know if they were likely to be out late again or on a route away from the shoreline and we put the incident down as FAWGI - false alarm with good intent.

If you ever see anybody in difficulty or who appears to be in difficulty  on or near the coast then please call 999 Coastguard.  We'd rather be called to a false alarm than miss someone in danger.

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) have become a growth leisure activity over the last few years with more and more people taking to the water and we'll be offering some safety advice in a coming blog.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Take Two!

In an almost carbon copy of Friday's incident, the team was tasked back to Winspit today to help SW Ambulance with the extraction of a 13 year old boy who'd twisted, and possibly dislocated his knee on the rocks.

Working with St Albans CRT, and under the watchful eye of the paramedic,  the team soon had the  boy on the stretcher and, using some of the rope rescue equipment as a security measure, carried the stretcher to a place where the boy could be safely transferred to the waiting ambulance.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Dancing Ledge Incident

Rescue teams were tasked to Dancing Ledge yesterday afternoon to a report of a Male with a serious head injury pulled out of the sea.

Both Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams were tasked along with both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats.

Conditions at the time were rain showers , heavy sea swell and strong winds.

The teams arrived to find the group on the cliff top having got out of the water. One male had suffered an asthma attack in the water whilst another had a possible broken hand and leg injuries received whilst get the first casualty out the water.

Both casualties were transported for urgent ambulance care at the top of Dancing ledge and then to Poole hospital.

Both Lifeboats remained on station and assisted in radio communications which are difficult in the area.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Landslips warning

Around the country in the last week there have been some large landslips sadly with a fatality.

The weather has been been very dry and now with some heavy rain this may see further cliff / landslips.

So advice has been given out painter agencies across Dorset.

Saturday, 11 August 2018


Both Swanage and St Albans Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked yesterday afternoon to assist SW Ambulance with a male who'd fallen and injured himself at Winspit.

Winspit is a disused quarry on the cliffs near Worth and until around 1940 was used to quarry stone, providing material for buildings in London. During World War II it was used as a site for naval and air defences. After the war the caves were opened to the public and today it's popular with walkers, swimmers an climbers.

It was agreed that owing to the nature of the injuries and the remote location, the casualty should be flown to hospital and so Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 175 was summoned. The teams helped make the casualty comfortable and then stretchered him to a more convenient position to load onto the aircraft before it flew to hospital in Dorchester.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Lifeboat Week starts today!

Our friends at the RNLI have their big fundraising week coming up, and it all starts tonight with a new event - the outdoor cinema.
Best wishes for a successful week.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Large Fire on Ballard

A large Multi Agency Incident has been taking place in Swanage tonight after a fire was spotted on Ballard Down.

With fears that someone was stuck on the cliff the Coastguard deployed to assist colleagues from Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire soon started to spread as the emergency services were on route. Further assistance came from Dorset Police , NPAS and both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats.

The wind and cliff made it difficult for firefighter to tackle the blaze. Coastguard provides assistance in closing the paths and checking for any persons trapped.

All services worked very closely to ensure the safety of the public

The use of Swanage Lifeboat sending live pictures to the Coastguard for use by the Fire Commander greatly assisted the assessment of the situation.

Just after 00.30 the fire was out and the fire commander stood all assets down.

Despite rumours on social media that this was caused by a flare this has currently been discounted and the cause is still being investigated.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Washed up flare

The team were called out yesterday morning after a flare washed up on the beach.

The Town Council contacted the Coastguard after their beach maintenance team found the item.

On arrival an assessment was made to identify the type of flare it was . a small section of the beach was closed for a short time.

The flare was transported to Poole for safe destruction.

Flares can be dangerous and should always be disposed at a registered site - for Dorset this is at the RNLI collage in Poole.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Busy in Studland

The area was very busy with visitors yesterday.

The patrol were heading to Studland and a report of a speeding boat close to the shore when they were alerted to a 93 year old who had fallen and received a nasty head injury.

The team provided immediate care for the lady before being made aware of a 5 year old with a broken arm near to Knoll Beach.
The team divided and gave first aid to the boy and were gratefully assisted by the crew of the Swanage RNLI Inshore lifeboat who brought some pain relief for the little boy.

Due to demand on the ambulance service the 5 year old was transported to the families car and escorted by the Coastguard team to the chain ferry for an onward trip to Poole hospital.

The Coastguard then returned and transported the lady to Swanage hospital for treatment.

In the middle of the incidents a report of an inflatable saw the lifeboat deploy and check no one was missing.

We would like to thank the National Trust, Swanage RNLI and Swanage hospital for their assistance during these incidents.

We never located the speeding boat however would like to remind people that the speed limit in Studland and Swanage is 5 knots.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Secure your craft

If you are out visiting the beach or town make sure you secure your craft before leaving it.

Whether by anchor or tied up, take a minute to ensure it’s holding or that someone can’t “ borrow “ your craft whilst you have popped ashore!

Yesterday’s patrol came across two “ young chaps” struggling to row in this dinghy.

On getting ashore they admitted it wasn’t theirs and they thought they were free to use !

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Well Done Carnival

It’s been a long fun week for the community and visitors to Swanage.

Well done Swanage Carnival for your hard work and all the other volunteers and services who have done their bit to ensure the week has gone so well.

That’s the Swanage Neighbourhood Policing Team , Swanage Coastguard and South Western Ambulance signing off ( well when their shifts finish)

Friday, 3 August 2018

Are you sea smart ?

With temperatures on the rise are you planning a trip to the beach ?

Just a little reminder to stay safe when visiting the beach.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Two incidents in Studland

The team were tasked to Studland this morning to support South Western Ambulance with a person in cardiac arrest.

Joined by colleagues from Dorset Police and the Air Ambulance the male was located in the dunes.

Sadly despite the efforts of everyone attending including National Trust Rangers the male sadly passed away.

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance takes off after the incident.

As the team were about to leave the Police made the team aware of a missing family lost in the heath behind Studland beach.

Police had called in the NPAS helicopter from Exeter to locate them which had to land to get to the two adults and three children.

The Coastguard headed into the area locating the helicopter and family leading them out to safety. With some advice to stick to the proper paths the team returned to Station.

NPAS Exeter coming into land to pick up their crewman dropped to the lost family.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Its all about 999

Whilst the Carnvial has a theme of a safari the team are using the busy week to promote the use of 999 in a maritime emergency.

In a recent survey it was found many didn’t know who to call in a coastal emergency so what an opportunity with lots of visitors to promote the Coastguard and the 999 system.

Just for carnival .... 999 shirts. The team at the carnival swim last night.

So yesterday whilst enjoying the afternoon the Station Officer spotted a broken down jet ski in the bay and a person waving for assistance.

A 999 call to National Maritime Operations Centre saw an incident start with rescue assets about to be alerted. A passing jet ski came to the aid of the broken down ski and towed it back to shore to be met by the Coastguard for some advice.

The second time this week a rope has been sucked into a jet ski causing it to break down.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Rain doesn’t stop Carnival

After weeks of sunshine, the one day we wanted the weather to be nice ...:: we got rain.

Sadly yesterday carnival was a little damp.

Team members and families from both the Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams deploy in their wet weather clothing.

The theme for this years carnival was “ safari” , sadly the weather was far from that.

Thank you to all the public who turned out and waved.
Sadly our specially printed shirts for carnival didn’t come out today so more on them in the week.