Saturday, 31 March 2012


This evening the IRT were tasked by Portland MRCC to assist South Western Ambulance on the Downs with a medical incident.

CRO's Kitching and Simmons attended and were quickly on scene assisting the ambulance service returning to the station in just over 30 minutes.

Fly Tipping

Mr Bentham has only been on "light duties" since his operation and last week saw him return to the station to do some gardening.

Since the station was constructed John has enjoyed making the outside area look smart and tidy - working alongside the Town Council who cut the grass and trim the trees.
So with him missing its been something that has not been done too often.

During his stay in hospital a new drainage pipe was added which now settled has caused some hollows so John found some soil and started to fill them and remove the stones to avoid damage to the Council's mower.

Sadly someone took his actions as "Fly Tipping" and reported his actions to the District Council who wrote to John asking him to account for his actions.

Like a scene from the film " The Great Escape" his actions of dumping soil in the hollows were foiled and he may end up in court!

Thankfully District Councillor Gary Suttle stepped in pointing out that most "fly tippers don't tend to hang around to ensure the pile of soil is carefully flattened and stones removed. Here we have someone recovering from major surgery doing some good around a building they are part of. A letter of apology will be on its way."

Well done John, you have only been back a couple of weeks and caused problems - leave the trees to Council please.

'Fly Tipper  Bentham'
...this time being awarded by the UK Chief Coastguard for his work on the 2008 Napoli Incident.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pier of the Year

Swanage Pier has won the 2012 Pier of the Year competition!

I'm not sure what the prize is but Anthony Wills, of the National Piers Society, said: "It has been chosen in recognition of the efforts of the Swanage Pier Trust who own and operate it without subsidy, providing an excellent visitor experience, maintaining it in as good a condition as possible - subject to financial resources.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Derek finishes his walk

Sorry for the late notice but retired Coastguard Derek Boorn (SW192) arrived safely in Plymouth on his sponsored walk.
On behalf of the team, well done Derek and can we suggest you drive next time, there again looked what happened in 1992 when you tried to drive the coast path !

Monday, 26 March 2012

Helicopters at Swanage

In the latest in the series of Helicopters landing at Peveril, here is "Navy 172" landing.

Based at Portland - 772 squadron were regularly landing and training with us - very happy days

This photo was taken around 1993 - and worrying I took it !

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Round up of the Weekend

Another quiet weekend for the team.

Having got the garden equipment out to cut the grass yesterday the strimmer went "pop" and died - just goes to show how important it is to check all equipment well after the winter.

Ian from Kimmeridge (aka Ian with the moustache) joined the team yesterday for the patrol and within 20 minutes we got a job at Old Harry. A vessel had pressed its emergency alarm but not responded to calls from Portland Coastguard. The Patrol arrived at Old Harry and using "an App" and the mark one eye ball the vessel was identified and monitored whilst it headed back to Poole. Thankfully Portland Coastguard managed to confirm this was a false activation and we were released to carry on our patrol.

This morning it was cleaning time with the Station Officer and chief helper - having been unable to attend the station for the last couple of weeks the station needed that extra clean to get it back to normal (well it smelt clean!).

Austen and Lee headed out for another patrol this afternoon - heading to the remote aerial site for training....I guess they got home?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Derek's big walk

You may remember that retired Coastguard Derek "Blondie" Boorn was carrying out a walk, raising funds for the Royal Marines Association.

Well a little up date.....

His group have reached Dartmoor and is going well, follow the walk at

Well done Derek

What you doing this weekend 3

Yes its that time of year when the mower has to come out of the shed and the garden needs a cut.

Oh suddenly you remember you actually just put the mower away with out a clean and service. Do you

1) Plug it in or pull that starter cable in the hope it jumps into life 1st time?

2) Check all the workings and think it looks ok?

3) Or maybe you did clean it and get it serviced over the winter?

Well just like the mower - the boating season is nearly here what ever craft or boat you have, make sure you carry out a service (or get it serviced by a professional). A couple of hours now can make all the difference and maybe stop that rescue.

Right everyone out and start doing the garden!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gareth gets an idea

Training again tonight and one of the hardest roles for a Station Officer is to decide what the exercise will be.

So having texted the team yesterday to remind them its training, Gareth texted back and I quote

"We could go to slip watch and pretend to recover a casualty from the mud in the dark"

I don't think Gareth expected the reply - " What an excellent idea and guess who will be the Officer in Charge"

As this is a family blog I can not print the reply. Photos soon!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Goniopholis Kiplingi

The prehistoric crocodile found in the Swanage area has been named after Rudyard Kipling.

Whereas this prehistoric crocodile found in the Swanage area answers to the name 'Eric'.

Oooh doesn't he look snappy....

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Helicopter - another landing

Another old helicopter landing at Peveril Point, this time a Wessex....

So thats a Dragon Fly and now a Wessex

Monday, 19 March 2012

Olympic Torch Relay Times - Swanage

Olympic Torch Relay Times Swanage - Friday 13 July 2012

12:24 Swanage Middle School

Swanage High Street (A351) from Swanage Middle School

Swanage High Street (A351) - veer left

Swanage Victoria Avenue (A351)

Swanage Victoria Avenue (A351) - Right Turn

Swanage Shore Road (B351)

Swanage Station Road - veer left

Swanage Institute Road - Right Turn

Swanage High Street

Swanage High Street - veer left

Swanage High Street

Swanage High Street - Left Turn

Swanage High Street

Swanage High Street - Left Turn

Swanage High Street (A351)

Swanage High Street (A351) to Swanage Middle School

Swanage's Version of the Olympic Torch

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A load of Bollards

An early morning patrol today due to Mothers Day (get out and back before the ladies in the house have got out of bed).

Part of the reason we carry out patrols is to check access routes and here at Durlston we thought we would try the new key out and work out how the bollards work.

Tom thought you unlocked them and pulled, Roger (well trained in the building of such things) unlocked, twisted and pushed down. The Station Officer just thought it was amusing that someone was pulling and the other pushing!

So another important lesson learnt and it was off to test the breakfast facilities at one of the local cafes.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mothering Sunday.....Mother-In-Law - Safety Advice For Blokes.

I haven't written a blog for a while, I was waiting for the fallout from my Valentine's Day blog to settle. 

Well most chaps will have bought their mothers a little something for Mothering Sunday tomorrow.…..and naturally their thoughts will turn to what to get the mother–in-law. Well following on from my helpful Valentine’s Day blog I thought I might be able to help out.

So here’s some Mothering Sunday for Mother-In Laws Q&As

How much should I spend on the mother-in-law?
Again don’t overboard, anything over a fiver and she’ll think you’re up to something. But you could splash out on a card.

Have I left it too late to get her something nice?
Why would you get her anything nice? No, you may still have time, again the Coop is open till 20:00 and they have chocolates. They do luxury ones too...

Swiss Choccies
...with a nice pic of a puppy.
Aw isn't he cute.

But I’m reading this blog after 20:00 – I’m stuffed right?
No, again much like Valentine’s day there is the fallback position. Both Triangle Garage and St Michael’s Service Station are both open until 22:00, they do a range of flowers which live in the bucket outside the shop door. Hold them out of the window as you drive home to allow the petroleum fumes to waft away. 

Or you could buy blue screen wash again but this time try and pass it off as a posh bottle of ‘Bombay Sapphire’ gin.

But what if she drinks the screenwash?
Well, the upside is that flies won’t stick to her teeth. The downside is that you’ll probably end up convicted as a poisoner.

Any other advice?
Yes, the chocolates are hers so make sure you don’t eat any of them; that would just be rude.

Ian will shoot me for this (again!)

What you doing this week 2

Following last weeks .....check your life jacket, why not check your flares ? No not those in the wardrobe you normally wear on Saturday night but the ones you should have on your craft/boat. There are many types and makes of flares (picture below is just one example) but it should be something carried for use in case of emergencies.
How old are your flares - they do have an expiry date. How do you store them? Can you get them quickly? Probably the most important thing is, do you know how to fire them? Read the instructions, check the sort you have - remember you will be using them in an emergency and no doubt there will be some form of panic.
Two year ago a person off Old Harry went to fire a flare as his boat was sinking, due to the situation the person nearly fired the flare upside down which would have caused another hole in his boat.
Flares are dangerous in the wrong hands - make sure you know how to use them safely. If you need to dispose old flare make sure its to one of the proper centres. Here in Dorset the collection point is the RNLI college in Poole, make sure you phone 1st to arrange an appointment.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Welcome to Swanage

New signs are appearing in the car parks of Swanage promoting various things in and around the town. I'm pleased to say the Coastguard station is shown in its North Beach location as often on maps we are still shown at Peveril Point. (or missed out !!!)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Team starts to get fit

This year it appears a new era has swept into the station......people are turning to their bikes.

I have challenged those team members to carry out a patrol using their bikes but there is a slight they wear their standard issue Coastguard helmet to comply with PPE rules or a proper cycling helmet ! However the biggest issue is where to the standard mugs of tea fit on the handle bars? Until these issues are sorted it looks like the bikes are stuck in the garage.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A special family

To its members the Coastguard is a very special group of people and when faced with a problem we are very good at looking after each other.

This week I have had to spend a long day in Bournemouth and not wishing to spend that time sitting in a coffee shop or wandering the streets, a quick call to the Station Officer of the Southbourne team and I found a home for several hours.

We even had time to catch up and have a good chat about life, especially the recent verification.

That's team work at is best.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Back Training

Yes back to St Albans on Sunday for some more training......... Today was verification day for the St Albans team backed up if required by ourselves.

Well the weather was a lot better for a start and you could actually see more than a few feet. The St Albans team had enough team members so we went to one side to carry out an exercise.

The verify team popped across a few times and checked what we were doing but it was really St Albans day and they all did very well.

Above is Chris, Lee and Roger in action making a hold fast.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Two airlifted at Kimmeridge

The Kimmeridge Coastguard team were in action last night after two walkers got cut off by the tide.

Rescue 106 was tasked to airlift the pair after they had been in the water for nearly 3 hours! Both Swanage Lifeboats also attended and stood by to provide safety cover.

Stay safe, plan your route and check the the Coastguard for advice (you only pay for the cost of the call) !

Whats that in the sky............

This photo passed to me thanks to David Haysom at Swanage Museum shows a Dragonfly helicopter of the Royal Navy land at Peveril Point for the 1st time.

Having checked the records it appears the 1st rescue carried out by helicopter in Swanage was around 1969 however I believe this photo is earlier than this.

A possible Coastguard stands to the left?

Saturday, 10 March 2012

What are you doing this weekend?

Stuck for an idea for the weekend? Why not start thinking about your safety equipment for your boat or craft?

A life jacket is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment and its not a lot of good locked or stowed in locker!

When did you last check it? When was it lasted serviced? When did you last actually try it on?

Or perhaps we should just ask.......Have you actually got a life jacket?

Every year people loose their lives as they do not have one or aren't wearing one when it matters.

Take a few minutes this weekend and check yours.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Numbering the Groynes

After a few years of planning the groynes on Swanage beach have finally been marked up to assist the emergency services quickly identify the area an incident is in.

The main beach has been completed (Clock Tower to Ocean Bay), the north beach is actually private but hopefully the numbering will be continued in years to come.

A lot of work is done behind the scenes to ensure the beach remains as safe and possible. Hopefully there will be new signage and watch out for the New beach wardens hut coming soon!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Derek's on a walk

One of our retired team members "Derek Boorn" is going on a bit of a walk !

Derek (ex Royal Marine - Police Officer - Pier Master) and all round good chap does a lot of fund raising for the Royal Marines Association and with this in mind a group of them are walking from Poole to Plymouth via the coastal path.

I met Derek when I joined in 1990 and was taken under his wing (still are in some cases !) Derek often brought along his dog "Tommy" on incidents and actually had its own Coastguard registration number of SW192.5 ! (Derek was SW192)

So follow the "Per Mare Per Terram Yomp" and perhaps offer some support.

Derek .....we will pick you up at the Ferry !

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Eric performs a miracle

This morning the team were paged to a report of a body on the north end of the beach.

Eric responded followed closely by Lee who claimed his 1st ever call out. Fearing the worse Eric and Lee were thinking of contacting Tom who is a specialist in this type of incident however they arrived on scene to start searching.

A good look around and still nothing to could be found, Portland MRCC recontacted the 1st informant to try and confirm the location and were told.........

"The body has got up and was seen heading towards Ocean Bay ! "

Clearly Eric had performed a miracle a talent we had not previously seen, a good result for a possible distressing incident.

But it did not end there...... Having had his 1st incident Lee decided to seek his 2nd and at lunchtime along with Swanage ILB, they were tasked to meet the ILB towing in a dinghy from Peveril Point.

March has arrived, the sun come out and people are out and about. Remember if you see or you think someone is in trouble - dial 999 and asked the Coastguard.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Yesterday training

Our thanks to the St Albans Team yesterday for hosting the training session in condition far from ideal. In fact we actually stopped at one point as it was raining so hard, although one of our local Sector Managers managed to stay dry in the NCI lookout!

With cold and wet team members we headed back to the St Albans station for a debrief, mug of coffee and biscuits!

Round two next Sunday, if John has managed to dry all the equipment.

(Sorry no was raining to much !)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Training tomorrow

Big training session tomorrow morning where we will be joining the St Albans team for a cliff exercise.

The weather forecast is not looking good and up at St Albans Head its going to be interesting.

Still Lee and Chris will look their bit in the new foul weather clothing (soon get that dirty).

Eric sadly will be missing and we all send our best wishes and hope he's feeling better (some team members do anything to get out of training)

Rumour has it that Rid is missing the team so much he is coming back for the day.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Hidden in the background of the role of a Coastguard is the meetings some of us attend. Wednesday saw two of these meetings and both were very productive......

The 1st meeting was with a local company who were asking for some safety advice when operating on and near the sea.

The 2nd was up at Durlston Castle and was the Swanage Coastal Change Forum - an excellent presentation from some very knowledgeable people on how our coast line is under attack from the elements. The purpose of this forum is to get local groups and agencies together for a brain storming session and hopefully shape and assist in any coastal defences or just monitoring the cliffs...(oh so slip watch isn't important then !!!)

So Coastguarding is not just about rescuing people but also taking part in local events to help shape the future.