Thursday, 31 March 2011
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Friday, 25 March 2011
This assembly didn't have any hymns and the headmaster did not give that lesson in social issues, however the Mayor did explain what was going on in the town.
His talk was followed by 9 others including the Police and Coastguard to explain what we were doing and plans for this year.
An enjoyable evening.
© Copyright Nigel Mykura and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Despite advances in technology, ships still use the markers for timed sea trials. To offset the effects of tide and weather, several journeys are made between posts to obtain an average reading.
A similar system exists on the Thames where pleasure craft can check their speed by passing two sets of markers. Under a minute to pass and they are breaking the 8 km/h river speed limit whereas a minute or over is OK. For the mathematically minded, 8 km per hour is the same as 133.3 metres per minute, so the markers are set 133m apart.
Although we use the Swanage mile markers as reference points when we need to, we don't get so many jobs on the Thames.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
The team have been searching for an 86-year old lady tonight, missing since 5pm from the Beach Gardens area.
A quick assessment rated the casualty as 'Urgent Respose' and so the full team (BURT) was deployed wearing full PPE and following a carefully worked plan based on the casualty's habits, ability and likely movements. Thankfully the lady was found near Ocean Bay shortly before 9pm.
Fortunately this was just a training exercise in search management and there was no casualty. But in every other sense the operation was carried out as if it was a real life scenario. Without proper management or planning a search can very quickly become inefficient and non-productive, and having had two large searches in recent weeks we need to make sure we're on top of the game.
Malicious false alarm or someone ringing with good intentions having genuinely thought they saw a distress signal? We'll never know, but what is important is that the team attended and the area was checked.
If YOU see someone either in danger or who looks to be in danger in and around the coastline, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
The snake photo is a cracker; i'm defo wearing my boots next time I'm up at Durlston.
Over the weekend our truck developed a technical problem.......a flat battery.
Now before anyone thinks that's a bit careless, the vehicle is fitted with a special bit of kit that ensures even if you leave the lights on and the power level drops there is always enough power to start the truck.
On this occasion the device failed so we knew the battery had developed a fault, steps were put in place to ensure we could continue to provide cover until we could source a replacement battery.
The Coastguard don't have a fleet maintenance team, we use local garages to keep the vehicles serviced and on the road, we are measured on "down time " of the vehicle so fast reliable service is vital.
Thankfully we have a Swanage garage who can deal with the truck, when we 1st had the vehicle we had to take it to a dealership in Poole - a 50 mile round trip, taking the vehicle out of town for up to 6 hours.
Yesterday within 20 minutes of phoning Steve at Avenue Garage, two of his staff were knocking at the door of the station with a battery. Fitted and tested in 10 minutes the vehicle was again fully available.
Its this good local support that ensures we can stay available.
Monday, 21 March 2011
It may be a family photo of someone on the Downs , what we need to do is look over their shoulder to confirm some points of interest that may have been at Peveril.
Can anyone put us in touch with people you can remember the artillery unit based at Peveril?
Over to our readership !
“A fisherman has donated a lobster he deemed to be too special and too old to be eaten to a local aquarium.
Marcus Hyde landed the crustacean in Bracklesham Bay off West Sussex while fishing for sole. The 3ft (1m) lobster, which weighs nearly 9lb (4kg) and is thought to be more than 50 years old, has been given to the Blue Reef Aquarium, Portsmouth.
Sealife experts at the aquarium said a fully-grown lobster would usually be half that size.
In 2009, another lobster of about the same age and weighing 8lb (3.7kg), was caught and given to an aquarium in Hastings.
The record holder is an Atlantic lobster nicknamed Mike who weighed 42lb (19kg) and was caught in 1934.”
Talking of crustaceans, Terry’s Coastguard Callsign is Mike, and he was born in 1934, although to be fair he weighs more that 19kg. ....I'm so dead for writing this!
Sunday, 20 March 2011
|Photo: Swanage ILB in Action |
Saturday, 19 March 2011
You may remember a new drainage pipe was installed a few weeks back and after the workers had finished they left some large stones on the surface which meant the grass wouldn't return.
Messrs Brown and Kitching with spade and rake started to clear the ground whilst Austen made the coffee and Tom gave advice.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
So the next twenty minutes was spent explaining how despite being a part of a Government Agency we are all volunteers. There are full time Coastguards - Sector Managers, MRCC staff and HQ staff to name a few.
Coastguard Rescue Officers are not retained like firefighters, however get a small payment when called out and for one official training session a month. The rest of the time the team give their time for free which probably equates to over 70% of the hours put in.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Thats good news..........
A little reminder to keep your dogs on leads when near the cliff edge.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Monday, 14 March 2011
The dog out with its owners had been very careful walking from Swanage around to Studland however just as they approached the final field before the Bankes Arms "Tommy" took the quick route down to the beach.
Thankfully after the 60ft drop the dog was seen to run off, that's where the problems began for the Deputy Station Officer! Having walked around the beach the dog thought he was not going to be caught by Austen, however a quick thinking ILB crew cut the escape route off and hey bingo, dog recovered to the ILB.
|ILB Crew save "Tommy" from Austen.|
His climbing group made him safe while another climbing group ran to Anvil Point lighthouse in an attempt to call the emergency services. Finding the rescue phone out of order they then ran a further mile to the Durlston Country Park to raise the alarm.
At 17:42 CROs Craker and Kitching were paged and deployed to the Lighthouse, They ran the mile of the cliff path arriving 18:01 to find Rescue Helicopter 106 on scene with the winchman attending to the casualty. After a brief interlude the casualty was lifted and taken by helicopter to hospital.
With the sun setting at 18:32 this gave a short 9 minute window for the two climbing groups to recover themselves and their kit from the cliff face and return up the slopes to the safety of the coastal path. All people accounted for, all kit recovered as night closed in.
The two separate climbing groups are to be commended for their efforts; and we wish the chap a speedy recovery.
# Just as the Coastguard Team were about to leave the car park they were flagged down by Dorset Police to discuss an elderly person who had just gone missing.
Shortly after this the lady was discovered on The Downs by one of the Coastguard teams (Messrs Thompson, Simmons and P Brown). It appears she had slipped down a bank into the undergrowth but other than being cold was OK and taken to a waiting ambulance to be check over and returned home.
Tonights incident was an excellent example of partnership working which thankfully ended in a good result.
I would like to thank the team for turning out so quickly (in full PPE!) Dorset Police Officers, Dorset Police Helicopter, Swanage Lifeboat Crews and the members of the public who kindly allowed us access to their gardens and homes to search.
Oh special thanks to the Swanage Lifeboat crew for using the new callsigns ...well done chaps, this training is really working !
Sunday, 13 March 2011
One of the lifeboat chaps (thanks Andy) pointed me in direction of this. It’s a u-tube video of a professional mountain biker (with helmet camera) at an organised event in Chile. Wow this guy can cycle.
It’s worth a couple of minutes. Try to watch it without ducking or flinching.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
This week one of the team took delivery of a new washing machine. We shall not release the name to save some embarrassment.
Having unpacked the machine, prepared the pipes the machine was plumbed in, plugged in and up came an error message....?
Hhhmmmm.....check, check (little bit of swearing) some more checking and ......give up and watch the football.
The lady of the house then took control logging on to the company's web site and cross referencing the manual and the error message.
Suddenly bingo!.......Shouting to Mr X....."When you connected the pipes did you actually turn the water back on?"
Friday, 11 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
As well as an on-line consultation (see panel on the right - there's still time!) there have been a number of public meetings to dicsuss the changes, including earlier this week in Weymouth. If you missed that one and don't mind the odd bit of travel then there's another one at Kirkwall in Scotland on Tuesday next week and again in Ullapool (also Scotland) on Wednesday.
And as I'm in charge of the blog tonight, that's all for now from Occasional Blog. Oscar.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Anyway to ensure fairness and strong leadership we used our new callsigns.
Poor old Gareth got really confused, too many "Oscars when it came to his turn"
Thank you to the several people who have got in touch thinking the "Oscar callsigns" were an early April fools day joke......its not, we promise, its an new operational instruction from up high.
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
“You arrive on scene to find a man in his 50’s has collapsed, you are told he has a history of epilepsy”
“You arrive on scene to find a scuba diver who has pains in his arms and feels nauseous”
It’s a good way of training and allows a number of options to be tried and discussed so that we are on form for a proper incident.
Last night we were doing some training on vertical lifts using the quad pod. Brian and Nick were tasked as cliff man and cliff top safety officer. Ian had obviously run out of rescue scenarios so did his best to make one up…. “You arrive on scene to find a packet of Jaffa cakes at the bottom of a mine shaft”.
Now Brian is no stranger to biscuits and immediately set about rigging up, however in conducting a risk assessment Nick argued that he wouldn’t send Brian down an abandoned mine for a packet of Jaffa cakes. A good point we thought which rather scuppered Ian's training session. That prompted a short debate about when you would go down a mineshaft.
Brian suggested that he would take that risk if actress and Oscar winner for her roll in Black Swan – Natalie Portman was stuck on the bottom. He could not decide whether she would be wearing the black or white Swan costume. We explained that this was his fantasy rescue scenario and he should choose for himself.
|Natalie Portman in Mine Shaft Rescue|
Monday, 7 March 2011
(Disclaimer: Other B&Bs and plenty of other types of biscuits are available in Swanage)
Currently we use the call signs "Swanage".....then Alpha, Bravo, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Kilo,Lima, Mike, Oscar, Papa, or Tango depending who we are.
The Alpha or Bravo call signs normally relate to the Station Officer or Deputy however if they are absent, the Operations room needs to know who is in charge of an incident.
So someone came up with the idea to add "Oscar" to the call sign to indicate Officer in Charge.
For example - "Swanage Alpha Oscar" or "Swanage Golf Oscar"
Now slight problem for Swanage Oscar as he becomes "Swanage Oscar Oscar" if he's in charge, sounding like he has to repeat everything!
But our John has the biggest issue......"Swanage Foxtrot .......Yep you radio experts will understand this one!"
Sunday, 6 March 2011
As you can see on the left of the screen there's a public meeting next Tuesday to discuss the closure of the Portland Operations Room (MRCC). Well to be fair it's actually worded '...to discuss the existing MRCC and the Coastguard modernisation proposal.'
....but I suspect the word closure will be used a lot during the evening.
In other news a hoax caller has been arreseted.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
"Coastguard Rescue Officers are volunteers who serve HM Coastguard. They give their time and skills to provide a coastal emergency response service. In this podcast we see a team putting their training to use in a cliff rescue exercise."
|Swanage Coastguard Team Training at Old Harry|
Friday, 4 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
The National Trust at Studland will be holding a "Dog Awareness" event to highlight this worrying trend and we have been asked to attend to support the event.
Saturday 16th April - 12.00 to 3pm - venue to be confirmed.
Come and meet the Coastguard and enjoy the beach at the same time.
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
|Entry Level GPS|
Basically, a high tech treasure hunt for the Girl Guides, sorry Guides… have they have been rebranded? I suppose it is orienteering for a tech savvy generation.
Austen and I thought this was not that exciting but we have since been told that there may be
Joking aside, it’s a great way of teaching teamwork and navigation skills over challenging terrain. I’m sure the Guides will be very proficient. It'll give us a chance to dust off the team GPS and refresh our own skills.
We often have local schools and community groups visiting us for talks and demostrations etc. and it's something we like to do for the community. Please get in touch if you have any ideas or requests.
I’m reliably informed, by Dee, that each stair is individually cut and the stripes even turn a 90 degree corner! Who’d a thought we’d be doing a coastguard blog about carpet.
A normal blog tomorrow I promise.
|The Coastguard Family|
(Just so I don’t get in trouble ...other Swanage B&Bs are available)
Phew! managed to get away with that.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
The other day Eric is driving up Ulwell Road in the Coastguard truck when he spots the Police speed trap. He’s not speeding so no problems.
He returns to the station and says that it’s dead tricky because our truck speedometer says 20 and 40, but not 30. He explains to an incredulous audience of coasties that he couldn’t see the number 30 and thought he’d better play it safe and chose the number 20 …..at this point someone spat their coffee over the carpet.
We explained that he could split the difference by allowing the speedo needle to fall halfway between 20 and 40 ….which would be 30.
(As an aside, Eric only wears his speedos when he's playing golf)