Sunday, 30 March 2014

Dog falls at Durlston

This afternoons patrol were diverted from Studland following a 999 call reporting a dog fallen from the cliff near to Durlston Castle.

On arrival the initial response team spotted the dog in the water and kept an eye on it until the RNLI inshore lifeboat arrived.

Sadly the 16 month old Labrador didn't survive the 90ft fall which was very distressing for the owner.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Getting that photo, is it worth it?

A worrying photo caught by our roving mountain biker.

Not for the 1st time our patrols have found people around Old Harry Rocks area, posing for photos right on the cliff edge.

Some years ago a male slipped down the cliff whilst doing something similar

Enjoy the view but stay away from the edge.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

What time is the bus

The team often comment on  my height and this week I really thought things were bad when looking at the new lamp posts.

I couldn't read the bus time table, in fact anyone under 7ft probably will have a problem!

Monday, 24 March 2014


The beach has recently been cleared of the concrete, so we haven't seen the hut on the left for a while.

Swanage Lifeboat - New Boathouse Plans

When this blog was first conceived it was to keep all our supporters and followers updated on the build of our 'new' (now current) station at North Beach Car Park and the move out of our old home at Peveril Point.  If you scroll back to the early years of the blog you'll still find all those reports, including one of the former and current DSOs being hunted down by a pack of hungry policedogs. (OK, it was only one, but he was still hungry).

Now, five years later, our friends at the RNLI are involved in a new boathouse project of their own to accommodate their new Shannon class lifeboat due in 2016 - although they won't be moving, but staying where they are albeit in a new building. 

The plans for that new building have just been unveiled and all local folk are invited to a public meeting this coming Friday 28 March where they will be available to view and a presentation will be made.  The presentation will take place in the Winston Churchill Room at Swanage Conservative Club at 7.30pm.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Drawing a line

Some maintenance on the station has been carried out during the last few weeks.

We now have some new bright yellow lines and a flood barrier installed.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tilly Whim Caves Incident

A verdict of misadvenutre was recorded at Bournemouth Coroner's Court this morning  in the sad case of the lady who died in Tilly Whim Caves on 2 November.

Mark Rodaway, Portland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Manager, says:

"Any death at sea is a tragedy and has a profound impact on the family, friends and all those involved in the search and rescue operation. Our thoughts are with those that have been affected during this difficult time.

“This was a complex rescue, with winds gusting up to 60mph, horrendous sea conditions combined with high tide and limited access to the cave. This was proven when one of our Coastguard Rescue Officers risked his own life when attempting to abseil down a narrow blow hole.

“I am confident the Coastguard helicopter crew, Coastguard Rescue Teams and the RNLI lifeboat crews on scene that day made every effort while there was still a chance of a successful rescue outcome.”

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Hierarchy of Rescue

Yesterday's blog alluded to something we term The Hierarchy of Rescue.

It is probably THE most important lesson that HMCoastguard teach to all Coastguard Rescue Officers (CROs)

So what is it?

It's a safety protocol which might appear surprising at first glance, setting out who's safety is the most important when conducting a rescue. Most people would say the Casualty comes first, in fact they come last; lets explain why.

The most important person to keep safe during a rescue is yourself. There's no point being a rescuer if you are injured or incapacitated because you won't be able to affect a rescue, and team resources are then used looking after, or rescuing you.

The second most important person, or group, is the rest of the Coastguard Team. You need your team to affect a rescue.

The third most important group, are the general public. You don't want others getting injured and needing rescue themselves, again using resources. We will often put in a cordon and ask people to move back as they often put themselves in danger. A member of the public standing next to the edge of a cliff taking exciting photos with a helicopter downdraft is a recipe for disaster. Lots of people get quite uppity about this and complain that we have no right to do so, sadly they put us at risk or distract us. Often a team member (or resource) is then used to hold them back when really that resource should be used in the rescue. You'd be surprised at how many people think they know better.

The final person is the casualty. Just because they are last does not mean we don't care, in fact the whole point we volunteer is that we do care, and want to assist and save lives.

Hierarchy of Rescue - in order of importance.

The Team
The Casualty

Saturday, 15 March 2014


'What's an OIC?'

An OIC is the Officer in Charge, the person who leads the team when prosecuting a rescue and who takes ultimate responsibility for the safety of:- 
  • himself (herself)
  • the team 
  • the general public
  • and the casualty. 
(Yes! in that particular order... I'll explain tomorrow)

Normally it would take about 5 years to gain the necessary experience before taking the course to qualify. The assessment includes practical sessions and a series of incidents where the trainee OIC would run a job under supervision.

Within the Swanage team we have 4 current OICs, Whilst the OIC is in overall charge of the team we work a Chinese Parliament system where every rescue officer can have their say before a course of action is decided upon; however the OIC has final call. 

Whilst orders are given a rescue officer can decline an instruction if safety is compromised, and we'd have it no other way.

A debrief is held after every rescue led by the OIC and again everyone gets to have their say about how the job went and whether we could have improved on any aspect.

You can normally spot the OIC wearing the tabard below.

Tomorrow... What's the Hierarchy of Rescue all about?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Listeners Sounds

Swanage Lifeboat was featured on Radio 4's 'Listeners Sounds' slot last night. This is a slot where listeners send in recordings of their cherished sounds for the nation to hear.

You can hear what happens when the lifeboat launches, and also hear some familiar voices (well, familiar to us at least, and presumably their mums as well) as well as some less familiar sounds - who realised that when the MRCC speaks to a lifeboat they follow it with Big Ben's chimes?

Click the link and tune in from 58:00 minutes if you want to hear the launch, or tune in between 0:00 and 58:00 if you want to hear the rest of yesterday's news.

We're having a straw poll of Cherished Sounds in the CG team and will pop the results on here from time to time. Ian and Brian to go first.
CG Blog: Ian, What's your cherished sound?
Ian: The sound of a packet of biscuits being opened. Mmmmm don't mind if I do.

CG Blog: Brian, What's your cherished sound?
Brian: The sound of a packet of Jaffa Cakes being opened. Mmmm, don't mind if I do.

Hey!  These aren't Jaffas....!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Old Harry

Another view of the Old Harry area following the recent cliff fall.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cliff rescue photos

More photos from the cliff rescue on Sunday.

You will notice Gareth (call sign Bravo) modelling the new officer in charge tabard.
Although the Station Officer  Ian (call sign Alpha) was at the incident, he handed control over being the only qualified technician on scene.

A technician is the person who goes over the cliff and in this incident would have supported the winch man from the helicopter.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Butlins and Bob Carolgees

We've been a bit short this weekend, ... to be fair at 5ft 2 Ian's short every weekend.

Lots of the Coastguard Team decided to go on holiday recently and Brian came back today after a lovely week at Butlins.

Gareth: 'Why Butlins ?' I asked
Brian: 'Great fun, the kids love it and you get all you can eat chips, plus I get a whacking great discount'

Gareth: 'Discount?'
Brian: 'Yeah, I used to work there as a Redcoat'
Gareth ' No way! you're pulling my leg'
Brian: 'No, really I did; Bognor - Summer of 1979.
Gareth: 'Rubbish'

Brian: 'Honest'
Gareth 'Yeah right, what did you do then?'
Brian: 'Lots of musical theatre stuff ...once I worked with Bob Carolgees'
Gareth: '...and Spit the dog?'
Brian: 'Yeah, he was alright, good laugh, liked a pint'.

Gareth: 'Who, Spit the dog?'
Brian: 'No you idiot, clearly that was a puppet, it wasn't real'.
Gareth: 'Oh, you've just destroyed my childhood, I thought he was real.
Brian: 'He makes candles now..'

Gareth: 'Who, Spit the dog?'
Brian: 'No, Bob Carolgees'

Gareth: ' Liar, pants on fire'
Brian: ' I'll send you a photo, the camera never lies - but if you tell the rest of the team, or blog it, you're in big trouble'.

Brian - Back Row 4th from left,

Brian: ' You know Austen Rockett worked there too - back row 2nd from right''

*"This story was based on fact, well some facts, not a lot; mostly lies in fact.
Any similarity with fictitious events or characters was purely coincidental." 

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Coastguard Pose

A year or so ago, Brian used to moan that his profile photo on the main website was, well, a bit camp. And to be fair, it was. So we replaced it with one of him looking dead hard.

Well, now it seems I have got in on the 'camp photo' look.

Kindly snapped by the team at yesterday's incident, it shows me working hard, holding the rocks down with my left leg in case the draught from the helicopter above should blow them away. I think I'm doing a good job. Everyone else says it looks camp. You decide...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Climber swept off ledge

The Swanage Coastguard team, Rescue 106 , Both Swanage RNLI lifeboats and the St Albans Coastguard were tasked to an area called Cattle Troughs after a climber was swept off a ledge by a huge wave.

Portland Coastland received a 999 call from the emergency phone at Anvil Point at 15.00 saying a climber had fallen.

Rescuers arrived to find the climber had been pulled from the water by a group of climbers near by. The winch man from Rescue 106 was lowered to treated the male whilst Coastguard Rescue Officers stood by at the top of cliffs and both lifeboats covered below.

The male was flown to Dorchester County Hospital for treatment. The Coastguard and lifeboats remained on scene until the other climber made it safely to the top of the cliffs.

It appears the climber was about to start to climb back up the cliff when a large wave swept him off his feet and down the ledge he was standing on.

All units returned to station at 17.30.

Cylinder washed up on the beach

Portland Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public reporting a gas cylinder washed up at the north end of the beach.

On arrival the coastguard team assessed the item and moved a few people away to ensure their safety.

Dorset Fire and Rescue attended as gas cylinders fall under their remit and requested a 200 metre cordon.

Dorset Police assisted by taking over the cordons and discussions were then started with the local authority regarding the safe disposal of the cylinder.

Following recent storms many items are being washed up on the beach. Never touch them even if you think you know what the item may be

Phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Slippery Surface

The team were called to assist the Ambulance service near to the Wellington Tower by the boat park.

A walker has slipped on footpath which has become very slippery with sea weed.

The team assisted to carry the male to the ambulance along with several off duty lifeboat crew.

Monday, 3 March 2014