Monday, 31 March 2008
Saturday, 29 March 2008
A distress signal should only be when an individual, group of people, a ship, aircraft or other veseel is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate help.
Using a distress signal under any other circumstances endangers life and be against the law.
Friday, 28 March 2008
of ... ---... around the edges.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
Last nights search for an overdue walker was a classic example of when to call the Coastguard.
In summary two brothers out walking from Lulworth to Swanage, in the afternoon they decide to take different routes and agree to meet at a local pub. Having waited 3 hours one brother still can not get in touch with the other so decides its time for help......called us, off we went and thankfully found the him very quickly.
When we reunited the pair they were very sorry for causing so many problems.....problem ? "this is not a problem" I said, " the earlier we get called the better, we can soon all go home quickly knowing the person is safe and well."
Over the years lots of people have said we were never sure when to call you, the advice is simple.... the moment you have concern call us let us be the judge and put the resources into the incident, don't worry about putting people out or the cost (we don't send bills!), get us on the way, it may save a life.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
The final stage will require a couple more of the team assessed for the operations role and then we will finally move over to the new equipment........but it doesnt stop then as we have to requalify every three years in each of the roles and bring some of the others up to technician level.
Monday, 24 March 2008
Paul and Elaine do look after us well in there and we are very grateful for their support. What is nice is we are able to have a hot drink and still monitor the bay from the cafe windows, it also allows the public to ask those important questions.
Tomorrow is assessment day for the team with respect to the new cliff equipment, so we will let you know how we have done.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Swanage Lifeboat had been out down to Chapmans Pool to deal with a yacht hard aground, watched by the St Albans Coastguard team.
Poole Lifeboat had been out to assist an adult and several children in a small boat being blown out to sea.
The Patrol set out and immediately liaised with the air ambulance crew who had landed up at the recycling centre, they had been stood down so no assistance required so the patrol went on its way only to find the Police at Studland dealing with an exploded bomb.
During the war and in preparation for the D Day landings in Normandy, Studland was used a huge exercise area, tons and tons of explosives where dropped or fired...the rest as they say is history.
Despite many years of clearance, items are still turning up and due to their age they have to be treated with even more caution and usually items are destroyed on site rather than being taken away.
Thankful our Bomb Disposal Teams are at hand to deal with these items, highly skilled military personel who know when a piece of rusty metal is in fact a piece of high explosive!
Our role in all this is to place a safety cordon around the area to ensure the public stay away whilst the detonation takes place.
After a count down, a press of a button, a bang it was all over. A piece of ordnance that had laid undisturbed for 60 years final was made safe. I understand this was a rocket probably fired from a landing craft.
Friday, 21 March 2008
Having patrolled the beach they were about to leave via middle beach and came across a patch of this evil weed. Normally being careful you are over it and up the slope, sadly this time it got the better of the heavy vehicle and before they sunk down, they requested the spade (which should have been in the vehicle!).
Having dug around and cleared the weed a very friendly "Derek" from the National Trust brought his tractor down and gave a helpful tug out to stop the weed taking its toil again!
A cup of coffee at the Middle Beach Cafe, some standard jokes and of course the all important "what lessons have been learnt" and the chaps (who I shall refrain from naming) returned to the station to start cleaning !
What was I saying about 18 hours to look after the equipment and putting the spade in!!
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Every month the team gets 18 hours to clean, check and ensure the equipment is ready for the incidents its designed for.
There is about two hundred pieces of "kit" to check from life jackets to the vehicle and as you might guess after a muddy job those 18 hours soon disappear!
The Easter weekend is an unofficial start date for the "Rescue season" (Easter to September) so the team have been busy just ensuring everything is ready to go if required.
Did someone mention snow on the way? Better put the spade in!
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
A few ‘Z drags’, and ‘tugger recoveries’ later we retired to the CRE (Station) to debrief over a warm cuppa….and some biscuits.
Now biscuits are a real treat for us Coastguard Rescue Officers and due to our hard work the boss let us have two packs. (not each you understand…to share!). Much like a BBC Cameraman filming a wildebeest at the watering hole your intrepid reporter managed to capture a rare photo of DSO Austen ‘dunking’, while Brian attempted to work out how to open the next packet; just look at their concentration.
Moments after this was taken Austen motioned to the cameramen using ’international sign language’ that he was about to eat another two biscuits. Well I think that’s what he meant?
Monday, 17 March 2008
Then, lots of checks, before Officer in Charge gives the OK to send the "Technician" over
Norman, can you leave the mud at the bottom next time.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
It was decided to get four technicians from the three cliff teams in the area to start training together, so we were joined not only from our colleagues from St Albans, but also Southbourne.
Phil, Norman, Bob and Andy don't get out very often and a trip to the Purbecks was a welcome holiday to see some real cliffs (only joking chaps).
Saturday, 15 March 2008
The Patrol went people spotting on Studland Beach; a grand total of 14 people were seen, and three dogs (one poodle). I am advised, however, that the Poodle was very big. Thanks chaps but it’s hardly a minor incident….and if was so amazingly big why did you not take a picture for the Blog?
According to them it was bigger than a bus…but with no photo I’ve had to improvise. Please see photo mock up of Poodle, on Beach with London bus to scale.
On a more serious point, no dangerous items appeared to have been washed up on the beaches in the last week’s storms.
Friday, 14 March 2008
Being a Coastguard has its advantages sometimes, a phone call home and we hear there is a clear spell of weather on the way.....clearly the Captain also heard and took advantage as he decided to load his vessel and some two hours later left, one of the only ferries to leave Dover that day.
Mid Channel other vessels found it tough.
Behind this wall of water was a giant tanker
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
The children took part in a number of real life situations, including practise phoning for an ambulance, reporting a crime, and even had a look at some first aid. Austen and Tom were there to promote beach safety and awareness through the MCA’s SeaSmart campaign.
Obviously highlights for the kids were the flashing blue lights and sirens on the Coastguard Rescue Vehicle! We like them too!
I’m told a good day was had by all with everyone going home with SeaSmart bag including a pen and key ring!
Monday, 10 March 2008
In Swanage we appear to have weathered this storm well, although a major rescue is still underway near Selsey.
MCA News feed:-“Coastguards, Police, fire service and other emergency crews are currently on scene at Selsey searching for people who could be in the water or trapped in caravans after sea defences were breached. Approximately thirty people are being evacuated from Selsey West Sands Caravan Park by Coastguards, Fire and Rescue Officers and the Selsey RNLI Inshore lifeboat. None of the evacuees are in the water.
The Coastguard Operations Room at Lee on Solent received a call from one of its Coastguard Rescue Team members at 1.00 pm this afternoon reporting that the defences had been breached at the Caravan Park where 2,200 caravans are sited. The Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team, the Coastguard Rescue helicopter Mike Uniform, Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire and Rescue, the Fire and Rescue boat, South east Coast Ambulance and Selsey Inshore Lifeboat are all on scene and involved in the operation.”
A real multi agency rescue, well done chaps.
Meanwhile down at the Pierhead Cafe, the venue that likes to pride itself as being a ‘Stones throw’ from the beach!
…..tomorrow DSO Austen goes back to school.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
And from another angle.......still a car park!
We're waiting on the builder's tenders before starting in April; should be an easy build (he says!) so the car park will be free for the summer visitors.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Friday, 7 March 2008
Now it’s not a massive problem given there is another route to the Coastguard Station or CRE (Coastguard Rescue Equipment) as we call it, but currently this is adding about 2 minutes to our journey. If the emergency is on the north side of town we have to retrace our journey adding a further 2 minutes to our response times.
Still the work is necessary and only due to continue for another week or so.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Did you know Swanage has its own weather station? Well actually we have two! The first is located near Sandpit Field and used by the Met Office for their forecasts.
The other is located at the Swanage NCI Coastwatch Hut - "The Lookout" at Peveril Point and was installed in 2007 by Purbeck District Council in partnership with The National Coastwatch volunteers, Swanage Sailing Club, and Swanage Sea Rowing Club.
The great thing about this one is it displays the data live on the internet!
Weather Display Live
So if you’re planning on a walk or other leisure activity click on the above link for up to date weather info.
or whether the weather be not,
Whether we like it or not!
Saturday, 1 March 2008
Nice day in Swanage today for a spot of sunbathing!
We spotted these up a Durlston Country Park this afternoon; looks like they’re getting frisky! Perhaps some additions (gettit) later in the summer!
‘Generally speaking, this is not an aggressive species, tending to be rather timid and biting only when cornered or alarmed. Many people are only bitten after stepping on them. They will usually disappear into the undergrowth at a hint of any danger, but will return once all is quiet, often to the same spot.
Relatively speaking, bites from this species are not highly dangerous. In the UK there have been only 14 known fatalities since 1876; the last a 5-year-old child in 1975. Domestic animals and livestock are more frequent victims.’ (Wikipedia)
Advice: If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. (They are a protected species too!) If however you, or the dog, are unlucky enough to be bitten, seek medical or veterinary advice.
What does an exhibitionistic snake wear to the beach? A pythong