Friday, 15 December 2017

The Best Blog in Purbeck - 2017

This very blog won an award yesterday - it was voted 'Best Blog' in the 2017 Best In Purbeck Awards.

Organised by Dorset Holiday Cottages, the awards celebrate Excellence on the peninsula where we live and they cover a variety of categories including Best Place to Eat, Best Attraction, Best Event and Best Local Producer.  Thanks to the organisers for arranging the competition, and it was particularly pleasing to win as we didn't even realise we had been entered - we may have had a dozen mire votes had we known!

Our friends at Purbeck Footprints came in second place in the blog category - well done Julian, but I suspect you probably needed to include a few Coastguards to make your pictures stand out a bit more.

Incidentally, the blog started out in 2008 to document the build of our new station in North Beach car park, but has since shifted focus to reflect daily life for the volunteers in the team. This post is the 3,252nd post since we started!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

I've Started so I'll Finish....

The team held its Christmas Quiz last night - this is a light hearted way to wrap up the year's training by testing knowledge on a few Coastguard related topics.

Not actually sure who won, but I don't think we'll be on Mastermind any time soon.  Pointless, possibly!

A good time was had by all and thanks to the NPT for popping in and providing some security - these things can easily get out of hand!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Coastguard? Dial 999

Earlier this week we had a message via our Facebook page from a lady concerned that a boat in the bay may have been on fire.
We don't monitor Facebook 24/7 whereas the UK Coastguard Operations Centre is manned day and night, 365 days of the year, but fortunately we did happen to see this message come in so we wrote straight back asking the lady to contact the Operations Centre on 999 to give full details.
The normal route is for them to then task us by pager or phone if they want us to respond.
All the same, we spoke to the cox'n at the Lifeboat Station where there is a better view to sea and contacted the Ops Centre  as well.  The Ops Centre  located the vessel on AIS and gave it a call to check all was well - turns out they'd just started their engines which were just a bit smoky when cold and there was nothing to worry about.
The lifeboat cox'n sent us a photo through their binoculars of the vessel in question.
With all loose ends tied up, we stood down and recorded a FAWGI - false alarm with good intent, and we'd like thank the member of public for raising the alarm.
However, please, in an emergency or if you see someone in trouble, or who appears to be in trouble on the coast or at sea,  you should always call HM Coastguard on 999.
Facebook is good - but it's not a substitute for 999.

Monday, 4 December 2017

The story behind the Incidents

This morning just before 7am an off duty lifeboat crew member contacted the Police and Coastguard concerned for a person at Buck Shore.

The NMOC immediately tasked the team who were on route in just over 10 minutes from being paged.

Working together and using local contacts and knowledge, the team met up with the lifeboat crew members and quickly started searching the town where the person was last seen.

Thankfully the team located the person in the high street and quickly got them home to their family providing some first aid whilst the Police arrived.

Working together and an early 999 call to the emergency services saw someone safely back at home. - thank you to all those involved today.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Terry the Tech

The team headed off today to Old Harry for some rope training.

Terry has been training for a while now and today he was up in front of our Senior Coastal Operations Officer for his assessment.

Terry and the team were put through their paces in different scenarios.

Terry Working down the cliff to put the training dummy into the stretcher.

A very happy Terry having just passed all his assessments.

We also managed to get Steve and Jonny through their Operators qualifications so well done to the whole team for their efforts and thank you to Allan for his help and guidance.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Stolen - Team Member's Paddle Sports Equipment

Many of the team have 'outdoors' type hobbies,  such as walking, cycling, climbing, kayaking, diving etc which is partly what makes them good Coastguards - the fact that they know the local terrain and understand the sports that go on here and the mishaps that can sometimes happen.
So it was particularly frustrating today when one of our Coastguards discovered that a whole load of specialist kit had disappeared from his washing line where it had been drying.
If you see or are offered any of the following paddle sports kit, please either let us or the police know:
-Palm Torrent dry suit - blue XL
-Black WRSI helmet with green visor
-Red Peak River Guide Buoyance Aid with rescue kit and first aid kit in front pocket and cow's tail attached
-Black Five Tennies paddle sports boots size 10
-Whetman spray deck with RAY written on the grab loop
-Palm neoprene socks (heaven knows why anyone would pinch those!)
-Pink plastic tub

Monday, 27 November 2017

Happy Retirement

We would like to join our colleagues down in Devon in wishing our previous Senior Coastguard Operations Officer, Pip Hall a happy retirement from the Coastguard.

Pip left us in 2010 and headed west to Torquay and the East Devon area.

Our very best wishes from all at Swanage.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Search for Gaia

In the last two weeks volunteer Coastguards joined emergency service colleagues, volunteer search teams and the public in the search for Gaia.

Coastguards from many stations across Dorset came and provided additional support here at Swanage with the searches.

It's been difficult for us all but where there are no words , please know the silences are carrying the thoughts of all of you.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Diver in distress

Shortly after returning from the major search the team were paged to a report of a diver in distress under Swanage Pier.

An off duty St Albans Coastguard heard a diver in possible distress being taken on a strong current.

The team arrived to find the male ashore but rather cold.
An ambulance arrived and treated the male which released the Coastguard back to the station.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Search Update

For the last 24 hours , Dorset Police again requested assistance in the search for Gaia Pope.

Today Volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers from several Dorset Coastguard stations deployed to assist in the search.

Joined by colleagues from DorSAR , Dog units, Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue a full multi agency search was conducted at the direction of Dorset Police.