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

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Team provide further safety cover

The flood barrier was monitored last night during the high tide at the request of the Envirnoment Agency , Purbeck District Council and Swanage Town Council.

At high tide today some minor changes were required so a request was made to have Coastguard safety cover whilst the Town Council workers carried out the repairs.

This afternoon the Flood Warning was reduced to a flood alert.

The barrier will remain in place for another 24 hours.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Flood barrier deployed

This afternoon a request was made to the Coastguard to provide safety cover to the Town Council and Environment Agency workers whilst they build a barrier to prevent flooding in the Lower High Street.

A flood warning was issued earlier in the day and a decision was made to use a sandbag barrier rather than the metal barriers used in the last storm.
The reason for the change is due to safety concerns around the anchoring of the barrier and it moving.

Assisted by Police , Coastguard , Swanage Town Council and Envirnoment Agency - a temporary road closure was put in place to allow the barrier to be installed.

Some 30 personal were involved in filling and moving over 700 sandbags into place.

The barrier should stop any over topping and water running down to the Lower High Street.

The team redeployed this evening to check the barrier and waves against it.

Flood warning for Swanage Bay

The following Flood Warning will remain in force for two hours following the time of high tide. The time and date of the forecast high water for which this Flood Warning is in force is: 09:15 am on Sunday 18/03/2018.
The forecast wind direction is East North East The forecast wind strength is Force 7

Friday, 16 March 2018

Team called to washed up flares

Maritime distress flares are an important piece of safety equipment on board boats in case of emergencies.

They should always be used carefully and that comes to their disposal as well.

Several calls to the Coastguard yesterday (Thursday) saw the team being paged to report of flares being washed up on the beach. In total 3 rocket flares were recovered and had to be taken to the specialist collection point in Poole.

There are special locations for time expired flares, please don't throw them into the sea.

If located on the beach - leave them and dial 999 Coastguard

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Mortar Find

During the search last week , searchers located a mortar in a field at Durlston Country Park.

An army bomb disposal team attended and confirmed the item was live and carried out a controlled explosion.

It’s history and how it managed to end up at this location remains a mystery.

Should you discover something you think could be ordnance, do not touch - call 999 - Police or on the beach 999 - Coastguard

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Appeal for Missing Swanage Man

Dorset Police have continued to search for missing Swanage man Gerald Turner.

The 67 year old was reported missing at 11.30 on Sunday 4th March 2018.

Should you have any information as to where Gerald could be contact the Police immediately.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Search continues for Gerald Turner

28 Coastguards from across Dorset assisted in the search for the missing Swanage resident Gerald Turner.

HM Coastguard continued to support Dorset Police in searching the Townsend Nature Reserve, various old quarry workings in Holborn Park and then a large search from Anvil Point to Dancing Ledge.

The Swanage team would like to thank our colleagues from teams from West Bay to Poole in providing support to us.

A special thanks also goes to the community in supporting us especially Jewsons Swanage and the staff of Wide Horizons Townsend Road who not only allowed parking but then provided the searchers with food.

The Coastguard have now carried out searches from Ballard to Seacombe and will continue to support Dorset Police as requested.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Search for missing Swanage Resident

Coastguard teams from Swanage , St Albans and Kimmeridge has again proved assistance to Dorset Police in the search for Gerald Turner.

The 67 year old has been missing from his home in Church Hill since yesterday.

Coastguard’s along with partner agencies have conducted searches along the coast , cliffs and areas of Durlston and the Townsend nature reserve.

During the search today , a Coastguard search team located a 88mm Mortar shell in Durlston Park.
A EOD team attended and destroyed the item in situ.

Working with Dorset Police we would reminder readers not to put themselves at risk if searching.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Busy in the snow

As mentioned yesterday the team have been assisting partner agencies in the last three days mainly due to the bad weather.

The team have attended and monitored the flood barriers at high tide assisting the Town Council and Environment Agency.

A call to assist the ambulance to get to a medical incident.

Transport two nurses to various locations during the snow.

Recover a boat trailer being swept out in rough seas.

Recover a small dinghy washed up.

Tape off a structure on the beach which has become undermined in the bad weather.

Monitoring the barrier and ensuring people are safe during the high tide.

The barrier seems to have done its job and prevented flooding of nearby properties.

The force of the sea has moved the barrier several times.

There is debris washed up on the road. Town Council and Highway staff will attend and clear the road.