Monday, 29 June 2015

Taxi for Nick!

As a Coastguard team, we're always very grateful for the people around us that support the team - wives, girlfriends, families, townsfolk, employers who release us from work and so on, and as of yesterday, thanks too for random people that give us a lift to the station when the pager goes off.

Coastguard Nick had just arrived by train at Harmans Cross to look at the Armed Forces displays there when the pager went off, with its "Dog and Person over the cliff at Swanage" voice-over.   With no car, and no Swanage-bound train for half an hour,  and no apparent way of getting back in time, Nick flagged down an unsuspecting lady driving out of the village hall.

Very kindly the lady not only agreed to drive Nick back to Swanage, but also offered to take him to the Coastguard Station, or wherever was most convenient (in the end to Nick's house so he could pick his car up!).
In the course of the journey it became apparent that the lady wasn't local, but was actually from Coventry, and was down for a wedding the day before. At the time she was busy shuttling things from the reception back to the friend's house in Swanage so it was lucky there was room for Nick at all!  They don't have many cliffs or coastguards in Coventry, so we can forgive her for being just a little surprised when a strange man suddenly jumped in!

So to our good samaritan chauffeur (whoever you are, we didnt get your name!) thanks for your help, and the good news is that we rescued both dog and owner safely.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Rodney and owner rescued from cliff

The Swanage Team along with colleagues from St Albans Coastguard were tasked at 11am to a report of a person and dog stuck on the Down at Swanage.

A member of the public had walked into the NCI lookout at Peveril Point to report their friend stuck having gone down the cliff to get the dog.

The team arrived to find the male from the Reading area about 10 metres down alone with his dog Rodney.

A cliff technician was deployed to stabilise the male from falling and then recovery of both of them.

Nick Field stabilises the male from falling before the teams recovered both the male and dog.

Rodney safely back on the top of the cliff.

Whilst the teams packed up their equipment , another dog further up the Downs disappeared over the edge. Thankfully the dog reappeared but it was nearly another incident.

Please keep dogs on leads near cliff edges and never try and rescue a dog should it go over the cliff - Call 999 and ask for Coastguard.

Saturday, 27 June 2015


A visit to the Brixham Heritage museum this week found a very interesting section on the Coastguard.

One piece was the " Knocker-upper" and was used to call the Coastguard team before pagers and telephones.

Somehow I think if these were refitted the number of false callouts may just increase as the need to pull on the rope whilst walking past may just be too much.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Purbeck Community Safety Week

The team (well, Eric actually) will be at the market at King Georges Car Park this morning (Friday) along with colleagues from the Police's Swanage Safer Neighbourhood Team and Dorset Fire & Rescue.

Pop along and say hello and find out about the work we do and how you can avoid having to call us.

Naturally enough, if you do see anyone in difficulty, or who appears to be in difficulty, in the sea or on the coast line, do not hesitate to DIAL 999 AND ASK FOR COASTGUARD.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Getting Ready

As the peak summer season draws near, some of the team have been at Studland Beach today liaising with the National Trust and working with their rangers to agree a common approach to dealing with incidents and call outs.
The local police team also attended as the three organisations frequently find themselves working hand in hand at the location, whether it be for missing people, lost children, washed up ordnance, craft broken free from moorings, medical evacuation from remote parts of the beach and much, much more.

We do this exercise at the beginning of every season to ensure we are ready for any incidents that might come our way.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Nee Narrs- what if they break?

The other day someone asked me what if the 'nee narrs' ever broke on our Coastguard Vehicle - and what would we do if they did.

Nee narrs- really!?!

To be honest he was 5 years old so this was a perfectly well phrased question.

I explained that we had an arrangement with Paington Zoo whereby we are loaned their Gibbon which we sellotape to the roof of the Coastguard Truck (low tack tape obviously). The Gibbon then does the business in warning other road users that we are approaching.

The five year old thought I was completely mad...

...until I showed him this.


I hope you will agree - a perfectly good replacement.

*Please note this is a purely fictional piece and HMCoastguard does not condone the sellotaping of Gibbons, or any other ape in the Hylobatidae family, to the roof of rescue vehicles.

** Other brands of sticky tape are available.

***Paignton Zoo, is a very nice day out,

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Climber Rescued At Anvil Point

The Swanage Coastguard Team, St Albans Coastguard Team and both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats were called this afternoon to Anvil Point.

A climber had fallen and dislocated his shoulder and was unable to get back up the cliff.

Swanage RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was 1st on scene and provided 1st aid whilst the Coastguard teams set up their equipment. A Coastguard technician was lowered taking Chris who is both a Coastguard and who's full time job is a paramedic.

Options were considered on the best method of recovery, stretcher, lifeboat or by helicopter. Coastguard helicopter 106 was training in the area and stood by for a short while whilst the climber was fully assssed.

A stretcher recovery was confirmed and the St Albans Team provided a further technician with the stretcher and successfully recovered the climber to the top of the cliff and the waiting Paramedics.

Notably both Coastguard Rescue teams had trained for this very scenario last weekend!

What lies beneath ?

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Joint Exercise at Guillemot Ledge

The Swanage and St Albans Teams joined this morning to exercise at Guillemot Ledge , east of Dancing Ledge. The location is tricky as it's an old quarry and is made up of 3 ledges. So the teams took a different approach today.

The Swanage Team set up one side , whilst the St Albans Team the other with 17 Coastguard Rescue Officers and a Senior Coastguard Operations Officer we had enough team members for two set ups.

Both teams set up and got technicians down the cliff. Nick and Steve on cliff edge safety.

View from Kerry as she went down the cliff. A group of climbers look on showing the 35 metre cliff face with tricky over hangs.

View looking down onto the St Albans Team

Nick enjoying himself heading down the cliff.

Kerry (it's my birthday, but don't tell anyone) takes Chris ( I've just finished my paramedic exams) on an assisted decent - guys it's serious stuff your not meant to enjoy it !