Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Second Best Blog in Purbeck - thanks for reading!

We found out this week that this very blog was voted runner up in the best blog in Purbeck competition.

To be honest we didn't know we were being entered, and we were judged in the category that promotes the area in which we live - which is good because whilst the blog is about life in the Coastguard team, it's pleasing to note that it's doing more than that.  In fact, its original purpose was to document the build of our new station in 2008/09, but more of that another time.

The winner was the Purbeck Footprints blog run by our good friend Julian Sawyer who runs the nature based photography, walks and talks business of the same name at the Old Stables. Well done Julian - good effort. He's got one of his talks on Friday evening if you're interested. 

More details on the other categories and winners here

Friday, 20 January 2017

First Aid training continues

What may look like a rugby scum was in fact a first aid assessment at St Albans Coastguard this week.

Somewhere under the rescue officers is an exercise casualty being treated.

The team successfully completed their assessment and demonstrated a good standard of first aid and care.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Slip watch is back

The recent weather has taken it out on the cliffs to the north of the bay.

A fresh fall at Sheps Hollow

A larger fall North of Sheps Hollow.

Keep clear of the base of the cliffs and don't climb up.

In an emergency 999 Coastguard

Monday, 16 January 2017

Mind the drop

The beach is on move, in some places the sand is high.

And in some places ..... There's a big drop.

Take care , that's a six foot drop


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Swanage Coastguard of the year.....

After a slight delay in the announcement, the Swanage Coastguard of the year was announced last night.

The award is made in memory of Mike 'Spike' Williamson who sadly collapsed and passed away having completed 30 years service.

Spike was a quite man but his actions were massive and that's at the heart of the award.

The recipient of the award is Nick Field , the Deputy Station Officer.

During 2016 Nick worked very hard behind the scenes ensuring things ran as smooth as possible.

Attending over 70 incidents during the year , his commitment to the voluntary service was an example to the team.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Stay safe and away from high seas

With many weather warnings in place of snow ice and high tides , please take care near rough seas and high tides.

Whilst the weather brings photo opportunities, don't put yourselves and others at risk.

Check tides and the weather. Stay away from areas that have flood warnings.

999 Coastguard

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Coastguard called to Old Harry Rocks

The team were tasked this morning to a report of a female calling for help at Old Harry Rocks.

The National Maritime Operations Centre also tasked both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats , St Albans Coastguard Team , Dorset Police and Rescue 104 from Lee on Solent.

On arrival a female was located at the base of the cliff by the lifeboat crews who quickly got the casualty out of the water and into the safety of the lifeboat.

First Aid was given until the arrival of R104 who lowered their paramedic winchman.

The female was winched back to the aircraft and flown to Southampton Hospital for treatment including the effects of the cold.

It is believed the female slipped near the cliff edge and fell about 90ft. In the current weather condition we would remind readers to stay away from cliff edges.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Search Planning

When we are called out to searches for missing persons, it's not just a case of heading out and looking anywhere and everywhere.

We always spend 5-10 minutes profiling the 'Misper' in order to give us a clue as to where they might be and to make our search as effective as it can be.  Studies have shown that whilst a missing 12 year old might do one thing when lost, an 85 year old with, for example, early onset of dementia might do something else.

The former demographic tends to stay to marked routes and paths, and could be located upto 12km from their last known position (LKP) whereas the latter tends to head in straight lines, regardless of terrain and will only stop when they reach a physical barrier that is insurmountable.  Invariably they will be no more than a few hundred metres away. Despondent people characteristically behave in a different manner, and young children different again.

All of this profiling information is taken in to account,  along with the time since last sighting, the weather conditions,  the number of team members available, other resources available etc and a search plan emerges.  We also think about the equipment a Coastguard Rescue Office needs to take out on a search, including PPE, first aid kit, torch, VHF radio etc.

Tonight's training was around building that search plan and giving everyone a chance to input into it.  Next time it might be for real.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Let's reduce incidents

During 2017 we want visitors and the community to stay safe and reduce the number of incidents.

One factor that often plays a part in incidents is the weather.

Quite often those we rescue say it was ok when we started out.

It's not about just the weather now it's what may be approaching and that starts to change the wave height for example.

Always check the forecast , take advice and keep within your capabilities.

Friday, 6 January 2017

On Top of the World

The SO and DSO were out this morning transporting an MCA surveyor to our remote aerial site at Nine Barrow Down.

Whilst not quite on top of the World, this is the highest point in our patch.