Friday, 28 February 2014

On Further Reflection....

We had a concern recently that our kit wasn't as visible at night as it should be, so at kit night last night we decided to conduct a controlled scientific experiment.

Under laboratory conditions, we reduced the ambient light to zero (ie turned the lights off) and using an electronic image capture device (the camera-phone on a Blackberry Curve 9360) we took the following photo. The results have been sent away for analysis, but early indications are that the reflective strips on the kit seem to do their job quite well. The reflective stripes on our overalls and safety helmets have also reacted and so has the reflective sign writing on our vehicle.

Another totally unexpected side-effect was even covered on the BBC News Website

In other news, we have been given some new kit including this snazzy 'Officer In Charge' tabard featuring a variety of colours, unlike the all-over fluorescent yellow design which was SO last year.  And guess reflects too.

Hmmmm......I wonder if ordering a Large was a mistake.....

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Peveril Point

A check was made from Peveril Point to Anvil Point today.

Several areas have had landslips and checking the area helps us in assessing risks if an incident happens in these areas.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Items washed up

Recent storms have seen items washed up on the beach and people thinking they are entitled to keep those items.

Recently a container washed ashore in Devon

Taking items from the beach and not declaring them , could see you break the law.
In some cases you could create an offence actually removing the item from the beach - basically someone still owns that item and taking it could be seen as theft.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

An example to us all.....

New Sea Defences at Swanage

After the success of Coastguard Alpha's sandbag wall the other evening that saved the town from disaster, other coastguards in the team are having a go at shoring up the sea defences in preparation for any future storms.

Ham Sandwich

Here's Roger, 'ham sandwiching it up' at a buffet.

He always overdresses for buffets......but I suppose someone has to set the standard.

Geology of the Area

Having a geologist in the team is rather helpful at the moment.

So I decided to ask Mr Hobbs , known to many under between the ages of 12 to 18 as "Sir" to explain some whats been uncovered up at the north of the bay.

Geology of the Area
Following the recent storms, a lot of new rock exposures have been uncovered, so here is a rough guide to what Geology we have on the coast north of Swanage Bay.
Swanage Bay is a sandy bay facing east. In the southern part there are low cliffs and banks of Upper Purbeck limestone and shale, these are largely built over and so are not exposed.
To the north there are excellent cliff sections of Wealden strata.

These are the cliffs of soft yellowish and brownish sands and clay with a Coarse Quartz Grit. Lignite and plant debris is common (dark grey/black matter) and dinosaur remains are found occasionally in these Cretaceous fluvial (River) sediments.
Gault clay and Upper Greensand follow as you walk further to the North. Beyond this, where the Purbeck Hills reach the sea is the major Chalk exposure of Ballard Cliff, beneath Ballard Down.

Next to the ravine at Sheps Hollow is a nice exposure of Plenus Marl (Marl is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and silt. This particular Marl looks Blue due to a high percentage of the minerals Glauconite and Chlorite. They are part of the Chalk sequences that make up Ballard down and do contain Chalk / Flint nodules. This Marl would have been deposited in Lacustrine (Lake) conditions.

At the base of Ballard down, the chalk is very fossiliferous and contains various forms of Micraster (Sea Urchin Fossils)

As always, a note of caution, although the Geology is superb in this area, care must be taken.

Landslips are now a very common feature of this part of Swanage and you should also be aware of tide times so you do not get into difficulty.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Peveril Point

Today's scene at Peveril - there are some small slips.

Remember don't stand right on the edge of the cliffs as you might be standing on an over hang.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

North Beach update

These photos have kindly been sent in tonight from a local resident.

These slips are very active and our advice is to keep your distance.

At certain tides there is a risk of being cut off, please don't attempt to walk over the slips.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Old Harry takes a battering

Poor Old Harry has taken a battering over the last week.

Well technically Old Harry was lost many years ago but the headland keeps the name.

Our rovering mobile mountain biker took this photo today.

We mentioned yesterday to be careful at the base of cliffs but this is just as important at the top.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Please keep away from the base of cliffs

All along the Dorset coast reports are being made of land slips.

A walk along to Ballard yesterday saw several slips with a lot of washed up debris.

Please keep clear of the base of cliffs.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Seafront remains closed

Shore Road remained closed today with visitors enjoying the wider space.

The road and drains will require cleaning before the road can be opened.

This weekend patrols have been checking key area and reported the cliffs in several areas as hazardous.

Following a large cliff fall near West Bay we ask people keep clear keep of the cliffs

Today's patrol also located a sick cow which was reported to the farmer.

Clear up starts

Purbeck Police posted this picture of Middle Beach yesterday showing the storm damage.

At Swanage the sea wall has been damaged.

With the sun out this morning, we ask people to take care and observe safety signs and closure signs. The signs are there for a reason - during Friday we saw several people ignore closures putting themselves and the emergency services at risk.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

999 Callout

The team were again called out this morning to Anvil Point.

Portland Coastguard received a silent 999 call from the emergency phone at the lighthouse and tasked the team to investigate.

Although the sun was out the wind was still blowing a force 10.

On arrival the team searched the area and found the cable had come down causing a fault on the line.

Sea conditions at Anvil Point this morning.

The 999 phone at Anvil Point is currently broken and has been reported to BT.

Flooding Callout

A major incident was called by partner agencies last night in Dorset.

Rain, strong winds and high seas were forecast putting property and life at risk in places.

The local District Council requested assistance in the Lower High Street to put sandbags out to stop the sea which breached the stone quay flooding properties.

Assisted by the Town Council a small sandbagged wall was made which deflected any small waves away from properties.

We also apologise to motorist who were caught up in a traffic jam. The signage to close the road was meant to be brought by a County Council team but due to pressures elsewhere and trees down at Harmans Cross they were delayed in arriving.

The team also had to give strong advice to members of the public especially some younger ones who were putting themselves at huge risk on the sea front as the waves smashed over the sea wall.

Conditions along Shore Road were yet again very unusual with waves coming over the wall and flooding the road. Police requested the barriers closed to prevent vehicles driving on stones.

The sea wall has been broken in several places.

This morning an assessment will be made before the roads and pavements opened.

Friday, 14 February 2014

High Tide - Flood Warning Swanage

17:52 The Environment Agency have issued a coastal flood warning for Swanage.


Environment Agency Flood line number 0845 9881188 Quickdial 166109

HW Poole Harbour is 2100, with a stand until 2200 with a height of 2.1m. However low pressure which could give an extra 0.5m of tidal height.

In the case of emergency call HM Coastguard 999


There are three levels of warning.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Serious weather

There seems no let up in the weather . The latest warning

Stay out of flooding , keep away from coastal areas.

In an emergency on the coast - dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


The storms over the last few days has moved a lot of stones onto the beach (and road). Hopefully the road will be opened again tomorrow once cleaned up.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Storm force 10

Pictures from today's patrol.

Looking north towards Ballard, not much beach left.  A lot of debris washed up, including various beach huts damaged in the week.

Large waves saw several surfers in the water along with some jet skis.  Several surfers were also seen in Durlston bay where the waves and conditions were much worse. Whilst visiting the NCI lookout a gust of wind recorded force 10 on the weather gauge.

Finally at Durlston waves were hitting the cliff face causing the spray to clear the top of the cliff over 120ft above.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Storm damage

Following this weeks bad weather, another slip causing damage to a beach hut.

Foolish Behaviour?

There's some great footage of the storms over on the BBC website - including some from here in Dorset.
But what do we think of the chap at Lyme Regis, 37 seconds in?  Foolish, or um, really foolish?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Weather update

This evening after the heavy seas. Shore Road will remain closed till its cleaned up.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Flood Warning

A warning has been issued for Swanage tomorrow.

Important Information.

A Flood Warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for Swanage Bay .

Flooding is expected for The High Street, The Square, The Parade and The Mowlem tomorrow .

Immediate action required.

The following Flood Warning will remain in force for two hours following the time of high tide.
The time and date of the forecast high water for which this Flood Warning is in force is: 12:00 pm (Local time) on 05/02/2014.
The forecast wind direction is South South West and the forecast wind strength is Force 9.
Very strong winds and high waves are expected along the Dorset coast overnight and on Wednesday morning. The public are advised to stay away from sea fronts and beaches as conditions represent a significant risk to life. Cliffs are also likely to be unstable following the storm conditions.

Stay tuned to radio weather, news and travel bulletins on Heart Solent, BBC Radio Solent and Wave 105.

- Act now to protect yourself and your property.

- Avoid beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads.

- Keep your colleagues and customers informed of the situation.

- If it's safe to do so, block doors with flood boards or sandbags and cover airbricks and other ventilation holes.

- If it's safe, move stock and valuable items to a safe place.

- Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

- Turn off gas, electricity and water if your property is about to flood. Never touch an electrical switch if you are standing in water.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Rough times

Mother Nature again being wild today.

Remember to keep well clear and safe - the bottom photo was taken from the safety of a cafe .

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Charity Car Wash

Our friends at the RNLI are raising a few bob today by cleaning cars. And selling bacon sandwiches by the looks of it.
King Georges car park is the place to be, and they'll be there most of the day, so if you get it washed this morning and then it gets dirty again, you can have a second go this afternoon!